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5 NFL players who were suspended due to domestic violence allegations feat. Adrian Peterson and Ezekiel Elliott

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson

Domestic violence has long been an issue in the NFL. Many players have been accused of domestic violence over the years and many have been convicted.

It's a problem that the league is well aware of and has been working hard to correct.

Players who are accused of domestic violence often face lengthy suspensions from either their team, the league, or a combination of the two.

Parallel to the league’s personal conduct policy, a guilty verdict is not always necessary for a player to receive a suspension for domestic violence allegations. Being accused is sometimes enough to receive one.

Here are five players who have been suspended for their involvement in a domestic violence case.


#1 Greg Hardy

Dallas Cowboys EDGE Greg Hardy
Dallas Cowboys EDGE Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy was found guilty of assault during the 2014 offseason while with the Carolina Panthers after he reportedly threw a woman onto a futon that was covered in assault rifles in his home. The charges were later dropped during an appeal when the victim chose not to testify on the stand.

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Hardy was originally suspended for 10 games, but his punishment was reduced to four games after a successful appeal. He played for the Dallas Cowboys during the 2015 season before leaving the NFL and joining the UFC.


#2 Adrian Peterson

Seattle Seahawks RB Adrian Peterson
Seattle Seahawks RB Adrian Peterson

In 2014, while still a member of the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson was indicted on felony child abuse charges. The incident was a result of Peterson reportedly using a wooden switch to punish his four-year-old son.

Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned. #3Thingsamp.twimg.com/v/d9dae196-6c1…

The league front office suspended Peterson for six games, which was upheld following an appeal. Peterson and the NFLPA filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against the league for the way they handled the case.

He was back in the news for the wrong reasons earlier this year. In February, he was arrested at Los Angeles Airport by the police for assaulting his wife in a plane before it took off.

Peterson was released later in the day after posting a bond of $500,000, However, his wife later denied that her husband physically assaulted her and the domestic violence charges were dropped.

#3 Ray Rice

Ray Rice Press Conference with Janay Palmer
Ray Rice Press Conference with Janay Palmer

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was involved in a domestic violence case during the 2014 NFL offseason. He physically assaulted Janay Palmer, his then-fiancee and now-wife, during a heated fight in Atlantic City when both of them were arrested. He was initially suspended for two games.

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TMZ later released a graphic video of the incident pulled from a surveillance camera. It clearly showed Rice knocking Palmer unconscious and dragging her out of an elevator by her hair.

Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that he made a mistake and suspended Rice indefinitely. Despite eventually being reinstated, no team ever signed him to another contract.


#4 Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott
Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott was reported to the police on multiple occasions during the 2016 NFL offseason for alleged domestic violence. While he was never criminally charged, the league found him guilty of being physically violent and suspended him for six games.

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Elliott, along with the NFLPA, challenged the suspension in federal court and he was allowed to play for the Dallas Cowboys while the case played out. After the appeal eventually failed, he served his suspension in the middle of the 2017 NFL season.


#5 Tyreek Hill

Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill

Tyreek Hill was investigated for child abuse during the 2019 offseason after his three-year-old son suffered a broken arm. The case was dropped due to a lack of evidence connecting Hill to the incident. An audio clip was later released of Hill making physical threats to his girlfriend and referencing the incident.

Surprise no suspension for Tyreek Hill change any of this? https://t.co/RGoQbyySn5

This wasn't the first run-in with law that Hill had. In December 2014, he was arrested after his girlfriend, pregnant at the time, complained to the police about being assaulted badly by Hill.

The wide receiver was thrown out of the Oklahoma State University football team. He plead guilty to charges of domestic violence but escaped prison time. Instead, Hill served a sentence of three years on probation and some informative programs.

The Kansas City Chiefs suspended Hill upon release of the audio and awaited a final verdict from the NFL's private investigation. The league determined that there wasn't enough evidence to suspend Hill, so the Chiefs reinstated him.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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