While domestic violence has existed for a very long time, both in the National Football League and in the world at large, the issue in the NFL has taken the spotlight since video of Ray Rice dragging his then-fiance Janay Palmer from an elevator after knocking her unconscious.  The NFL has scrambled to fix the issue after giving Rice a very lenient suspension of only two games.

In the last two weeks, video of Rice hitting his now-wife not once but twice inside the elevator-- the second punch sent Palmer into the hand rail, knocking her unconscious-- causing the Baltimore Ravens to hastenly terminate Rice's contract and the NFL changing his suspension from two games to an indefinite suspension.  Now reports have come out that the video inside the elevator, released by TMZ Sports, was sent to the NFL offices by a detective working the case-- though Roger Goodell continues to deny seeing the video.  More news has been released that even though the Ravens' front office knew almost immediately exactly what happened with Rice in that elevator, they tried to gain leniency for Rice both in the NFL and in the court of law-- Coach John Harbaugh was apparently over-ruled from releasing Rice.  With all of this coming out, Rice now possibly has enough leverage to get his indefinite suspension overturned by anarbitrator for two reasons:  1) he was essentially punished twice for the same crime with the change in his suspension, and 2) both the NFL and the Ravens knew the facts and-- as Rice has upheld-- he told them exactly what took place when the two game suspension was decided.

While all of this was going on, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was not only charged but convicted by a North Carolina judge for beating and threatening to kill his girlfriend in their apartment.  Hardy has appealed the decision and is awaiting the start of a jury trial.  Hardy played in Week One and was set to play in Week Two before public and media pressure forced Carolina to deactivate him for the week.  Hardy has since been placed on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission List that will keep paying him his salary while he is forced to stay away from team activities.

Right before the season the NFL announced that all first-time domestic violence violators would face an automatic six-game suspension and second-time violators would face a lifetime ban.  Just a few days later, San Francisco defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested for allegedly hitting his pregnant fiance during a family outing.  Because not all the facts of the case have been discovered, the 49ers' brass has made it cleared that McDonald will remain with the team until due process is fulfilled and the truth has been made clear.

Then comes Adrian Peterson, one of the biggest names in the NFL, getting indicted in Texas for child abuse and negligent injury to child after he disciplined his four-year old son with a switch (a small tree branch).  Peterson was deactivated for Week Two so he can turn himself in and post bail.  On Monday, Peterson was reactivated to the active roster, but, after outrage from the public, ownership decided to place Peterson on the Exempt List while Peterson handles his own legal issues.

In the most bizarre of cases comes Jonathan Dwyer.  Dwyer allegedly head-butted his wife after she denied his sexual advances.  He hid in the bathroom and threatened to kill himself if she told the police he was home.  Allegedly the next morning Dwyer proceeded to take away his wife's cell phone and threw it out the second-story window to keep her from calling the police and punched her.  He also allegedly threw a shoe at his 18-month old son.  He was arrested at the Arizona Cardinals' team facilities after he apparently again threatened his wife to commit suicide if she didn't come back to him.

If Major League Baseball's black eye was performance enhancing drugs, then domestic is now the NFL's black eye.  Domestic violence will be a much darker bruise to the Shield than the case of the effects of concussions and head injuries.  The owners may be firmly behind Goodell because of all the billions of dollars they have made under his leadership, but there is no denying that Goodell's early handlling of these domestic violence issues has been horrendous.  Unless he gets a better handle of the situation and takes control of the situation, Goodell should be removed as Commissioner of the NFL.