Doug Pederson Addresses NFL’s Recent Domestic-Violence Issues
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It hasn't been the best week for the NFL when it comes to the issue of domestic violence with two high-profile incidents resulting in players being released, Reuben Foster with San Francisco and Kareem Hunt with Kansas City.
The Eagles' opponent on Monday night, the Washington Redskins, took significant lumps for claiming Foster on waivers, while the Chiefs were forced to waive Hunt, one of the better running backs in the league, when video surfaced of him kicking a woman at a Cleveland-area hotel.
Both players are currently on the commissioner’s exempt list and won’t be playing anytime soon as their ultimate futures are yet to be decided.
Before the Redskins claimed Foster the Eagles were reported as the only NFL team that called police for the due diligence on his arrest but never attempted a claim.
A source in the organization, meanwhile, painted a negative picture when asked about potential interest in Hunt down the road, a player who would certainly help at a position of need from a football perspective.
Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson was asked about the incidents on Saturday morning at the NovaCare Complex and had to toe a very controversial line.
“I’m not going to get into the policy stuff for protecting the Eagles," Pederson said. "But, you know, obviously there’s not a place for this kind of behavior. It’s unfortunate because two good, great players for their respective teams so it’s just unfortunate. But, you know, it’s something you hope doesn’t happen and you just hate it for everybody involved because it’s not good. It’s not good at all.”
Asked by 973espn.com if he could use these types of incidents as teaching moments for his own players Pederson said that is a constant process.
“We’re constantly talking to our players about protecting themselves outside of this building," he explained. "They just have to understand that they’re high-profile guys, they’re going to be in the community, in the spotlight. Everybody is a reporter. Everybody has a cell phone and can take video. It’s an awareness, understanding your surroundings, where you're at. Your job is to help us win games, No. 1. That needs to remain the focus and just protect yourself when you’re away from the building.”
As for taking a chance for a player who has had legal issues in the past, everyone can have an opinion but that rests in the hands of one man, team owner Jeffrey Lurie.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen