It’s hard not to take your work home. Politicians glad-hand even when they’re not campaigning; linguists struggle not to scold poor grammar; off-duty police officers scan the crowd in a restaurant for signs of trouble before they sit down. So what happens when your job involves hitting people—especially when you’re paid very, very well to hit them very, very hard?
There are a lot of explanations for the crisis of violence that has hit the National Football league—and a lot of them have merit. Athletes are spoiled. Check. They feel entitled. Check. They believe they’re outside the rules and that even if they get in trouble they can buy their way out with a top-dollar legal defense—check and check. But there are athletes and there are athletes, and not every player in every sport gets into the same kind of trouble. Increasingly, it seems, it’s those who are violent during their work day who continue to be that way when they go home.
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