By Zachary Leon
Dante Fowler Jr., the Jacksonville Jaguars third overall draft pick in 2015 was recorded recently refereeing a fight between his girlfriend and the mother of his child. The former Gator was seen starting a fight and watching over it and letting it all happen right before his eyes. He even makes contact at the end of the fight. Instead of shoving women, he should be shoving offensive linemen.
Being a Gator fan, I was disappointed to hear this news, along with the fact that he didn’t even step on the field during the 2015 season. Not only did he make the Jaguars look bad he made the Gators look bad as well. More importantly, he portrayed a negative image for women in supporting women’s violence.
In today’s day and age where women are seeking and fighting for equality, incidents like this hinder these causes. I myself support women and their quest for equality in all facets of life. Seeing an athlete who I support because of his collegiate ties partake in such a disrespectful act leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
Like I stated, he even pushes a girl off of the other at the end of the fight. Although this incident may seem minor to some it cannot be overlooked. If it does get overlooked, mindless acts such as this one will continue to occur in society and women will never see the progress they are seeking.
Incidents involving women have been happening in the NFL for so long now. It is one of the negative things holding back equality for women. For example, in a domestic violence case from a few years back, Ray Rice was filmed striking her then dragging her body onto the elevator. The criticism from feminists and other women was that she stayed with him after this incident.
I believe the same criticism could be coming towards Fowler way with his girlfriend. I do disagree with this criticism in general because we are the public. And the public never knows what is going on in the private life of this particular relationship. Therefore, it is unfair to criticize Fowler and his relationship with his girlfriend.
Another point is the example Fowler is setting for men all over the country. Males who look up to him will see his actions and think he is cool figure. They are going to want to be like him and try and repeat the actions seen in the video. That’s not to say that this doesn’t happen already in our society.
Fowler is only fueling and supporting this kind of behavior. I am unsure of the gender of his child, but regardless he is portraying a negative image of himself to his child. Regardless if he has a boy or a girl, he is setting a bad example as a father for his child. The pattern always seems to be that male athletes are involved in domestic violence cases with women.
Clearly Dante Fowler Jr. wasn’t the one hitting it was still a case of violence. It seems that football players are always involved with violent acts and whether this is just a coincidence or a real scientific trend it is worth being noted.
Something must be done in our society to change the way women are treated. We see this kind of inequality for women in their sports leagues and in the work place. Everywhere you turn women are being treated unfairly. Women athletes make less than a male athlete and make less money in the workplace compared to men. Frequent incidents like the one Dante Fowler Jr. was involved in are only hurting women and their fight for inequality.
Incidents like this need to stop occurring as well as domestic violence cases involving women. I believe there should be a strict punishment from the NFL or the Jaguars for Fowler to show that these organizations really have a zero tolerance for violence involving women.
Another aspect of the incident is the three people involved are dealing with this matter “as a family.” Although this can be interpreted loosely, it is a positive sign that they are trying to set aside their differences and work as a group mainly for the sake of the child caught in the middle of all of this. If a resolution can be met between the people involved with no outside help it is a positive thing.
That’s not to say that a family counselor should not be monitoring the case and the family dynamic. I am rooting for Fowler to right his wrongs and leave this mistake in the past and to fulfill the expectations set out for him when we was drafted so highly. As a society, incidents like this need to stop all together so equality can truly be attained in this country.
Fowler has some work to do in his personal, private life (very similar to what Ray Rice went through). Luckily for Fowler, he was not released by his team like Ray Rice was. I do believe he should receive some sort of punishment from the league or his team to re-enforce the zero tolerance policy. As a society we have to work towards equality for women so that horrible incidents such as this one do not continue to happen. As I stated earlier, being a Gator fan I hope Fowler realizes this and recognizes what he did wrong and grows from this incident.