Fox Sports Host Katie Nolan Gets Real About Domestic Violence In The NFL


If you type “NFL” in google right now, the words domestic violence will most likely appear as an auto-complete. The story and video evidence of ex-Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice abusing his wife in an elevator back in February recently surfaced on gossip website TMZ, which forced commissioner Roger Goodell to address the ongoing issue of domestic violence in the NFL, as fans are sick of hearing about players such as Adrian Peterson and Chad Johnson (to name just two) involved in abuse scandals, only to have them somewhat covered up because they are star players and teams don’t want to lose them.

Roger Goodell issued a recent memorandum to all NFL teams outlining harsher punishments for cases of domestic violence including lifetime bans for repeat offenders. This memorandum was released right before the video of Ray Rice, which forced fans and critics to turn the spotlight back on the NFL to see how they will deal with this issue in light of recent developments. The fact that Ray’s wife Janay made a public declaration to stand by her husband and stay made us all realize that domestic violence is not a black and white issue, and it is something that needs to be discussed more, especially from an NFL standpoint.

Fox Sports ‘No Filter’ host Katie Nolan shared her thoughts on the issue in a timely Youtube video, basically saying the underlying sexism which still exists in sports broadcasting and sports in general is something which cannot be ignored any longer, as it goes hand in hand with issues such as domestic violence against women.

The self-confessed football fanatic (she is in three fantasy football leagues) says this issue has put her in an uncomfortable position that she can’t ignore any longer.

“How do reconcile my values and beliefs with my love for a sport that has an ongoing issue with domestic violence? How do I support a commissioner who needed to see a video of a man punching a woman in the face in order to realize it’s unacceptable?”

She says boycotting the NFL, as many are calling for, is not the answer nor does it address the issue at hand. It is just another method of turning a blind eye. A boycott would only “remove the critical thinkers from the NFL conversation and leave the league to continue making billions of dollars with even less accountability.”

“A boycott means walking away, I would rather fight back,” she says emphatically, which we agree is the right course of action. Domestic violence in the NFL and in general life needs to be tackled head on and eliminated from the root.


At a recent Fox Sports NFL symposium, Katie says she had the chance to ask commissioner Roger Goodell a question.

“I wanted to ask him why, when the NFL is always talking about growing their audience and penetrating new markets why would he not consider a larger suspension for Ray Rice to send the message to the untapped market of female fans that the NFL actually cares about them?”

It’s a brilliant question, one that unfortunately she never got to ask due to fear and out of obligation toward her employer. She was scared of offending either Roger or Fox Sports, which she says is something other females in this industry have to constantly do to get ahead, and it’s not right.

“Women in sports television are allowed to read headlines, patrol sidelines, and generally facilitate conversation for their male colleagues. And, while the Stephen A. Smiths, Mike Cairns, Dan Patricks and Keith Olbermanns of the world get to weigh in on the issues of the day, we just smile and throw to commercial.”

The argument that women have never played the game is ridiculous and doesn’t fly anymore. Not having played football doesn’t mean women are any less qualified to talk about the real issues at hand such as racism, domestic violence and corruption.

“It’s time for the conversation to change. It’s time for women to have a seat at the big-boy table,” she declares issuing a mandate we have heard a lot from ‘Lean In’ author Sheryl Sandberg.

Women deserve to me more than just pretty gimmicks with breasts, she says. They deserve to have their opinions heard and voices given a platform to talk about the sport in an authoritative way.

“The truth is the NFL will never respect women and their opinions as long as the media it answers to doesn’t.”

Katie Nolan is not the only sports network host to share her thoughts. CBS Sports broadcaster James Brown used the last couple of minutes from a game coverage show recently to issue the call out to men to take responsibility and recognize domestic violence is a serious issue. Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews also spoke about the Ray Rice incident with such passion saying the way it has been handled so far is disappointing.

What will it take for the NFL to change its policies on how they handle domestic violence controversies? More men and women in positions of authority to speak up, and people with public platforms like Katie Nolan to share their thoughts unapologetically. Until The NFL sees that this is not something that will be tolerated, it will continue to treat domestic violence incidents they way they always have.




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