Gary Bauer Weighs in on the Impact of Fatherless Families on the Rise in off-the-field NFL Violence

Sep 06, 2013, 11:56 ET from American Values

"The rise in player violence is an indictment not of guns or football itself but of a culture in which most children are raised in broken families," observes Bauer in USA Today.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a column today in USA Today, former presidential candidate Gary Bauer weighed in on the rise of violence among NFL players, noting that family breakdown is having an impact among America's sports heroes.

"As more and more of our children are raised without dads, our schools will continue to fail, our drug problem will continue to grow, crime will continue to bedevil our communities and in all areas of American life—including the NFL—we will see more adult men prone to violence and lawlessness," said Bauer, the president of American Values.

In the column, Bauer writes: "While the NFL has always been violent, the high level of off-the-field violent crime among its players is a relatively recent phenomenon. The rise in player violence is an indictment not of football but of a culture in which most children are raised in broken families. It is a culture that, despite the evidence, many cultural and social elites refuse to acknowledge. 

"According to my analysis of the San Diego Union Tribune's NFL Arrests Database, 35 players have been arrested for violent crimes since the beginning of the 2011 season. Of the 26 players whose family histories I could glean from online research, 21 (80 percent) grew up in homes in which at least one biological parent (in most cases the father) was absent.

Bauer observed that rather than condemning the sport, perhaps we should be asking whether the NFL has a broken families problem?

"We should be able to agree that mothers and fathers have important and distinct roles to play in their children's development, and that when either is missing, children suffer, and in turn so does society."

Learn more about Gary Bauer at or follow him @GaryLBauer

SOURCE American Values