Opinion: Domestic violence not a laughing matter



Nick Shook

Nick Shook

Nick Shook is a sports reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

Deion Sanders has always been known as one bad man.

He never struck fear into the hearts of opponents — that is, unless it was an opposing quarterback.

Deion Sanders was a hall of fame cornerback for multiple NFL teams, and one of the greatest kick returners in NFL history. His talents, and ego, combined to create his persona known as “Prime Time.”

He dominated NFL fields for 14 seasons, and even spent parts of nine years as an outfielder in Major League Baseball. His athletic prowess garnered quite a following, which continues to this day and includes over 391,000 followers on his Twitter account.

His large following was cause for immediate reaction to an incident that occurred in his home Monday afternoon.

Deion Sanders tweeted that his estranged wife, Pilar Sanders, had come to his house with a friend and “jumped” him in his room.

“Pray for me and my kids now! They just witnessed their mother and a friend jump me in my room,” Deion Sanders tweeted. “She’s going to jail n I’m pressing charges!”

Pilar and Deion Sanders have been in the midst of an ugly divorce for nearly six months, according to reports. The couple has three children, and unfortunately for them, they were directly involved in the altercation at the Sanders’ home.

TMZ reported that police were seen outside the Sanders’ house Monday night, and that Pilar entered his bedroom and was “kicking, biting, scratching” him. He defended himself until he was able to call police.

“I’m sad my boys witnessed this mess but I warned the police department here that she was gone try n harm me and my boys,” Deion Sanders tweeted.

Twitter followers were quick to make fun of the situation.

“I will not stand to believe that 2 women done slap boxed wit Deion on the corner of 21st & Prime. Nope didn’t happen #Haaaaaaaaaaacked” Gerald Alexander, New York Jets cornerback, tweeted.

“By the way. THIS is gonna be funny forever. Hacked or not.” George Foster, former NFL offensive tackle, tweeted in reference to the Sanders altercation.

When I first read this, I began to chuckle to myself, purely because it was happening to one of the most egotistical players the NFL has ever seen. But then I stopped myself.

I realized that I had experienced very much of the same during my childhood.

Without getting into specifics, I dealt with domestic violence for much of my childhood. I was the product of a divorce and disastrous marriage to a new spouse that involved far too much violence in the home.

Memories of fearing arguments and violence awaiting my return home flooded my conscience. Over 10 years of daily life were filled with altercations, both at home and in public, often fueled by over consumption of alcohol on the part of my step-parent.

But this column isn’t about my experiences.

It is about similar experiences, often memories that never leave the minds of those children involved, that happen far too often in the society that we live in today. Too many children live like I did, fearing life at home and preferring to stay away from their residence in search of a life free of worry about when they will have to pack their bags up and leave after being kicked out of their home yet again.

Which is why I became so angry once the comedic tweets began to fill my Twitter timeline.

Domestic violence is not a laughing matter. Way too many kids don’t live in comfortable, cozy homes. Way too many kids despise a step-parent or biological parent for their destructive, violent actions.

Before you joke about a situation much like the Sanders,’ first consider — how many dishes have you seen flung across and kitchen and shattered on a wall? How many times have you seen your parent get physically attacked and just stand there and take it, refusing to retaliate for fear of legal repercussions and the destruction of whatever concept of love they may think they have for the spouse that is incessantly screaming, biting, scratching and punching them? How many times have you hid in a bedroom or basement, listening to the violence that is occurring just feet away from you on the other side of a locked door?

And how many times have you had to give statements to police, who you think may not even believe your words, seeing as you are just a child yourself?

Before you judge, and before you take shots at Deion Sanders, first think about how lucky you may be to have grown up in a stable home, free of such violence. I don’t know if your childhood was perfect — I know mine wasn’t. I won’t assume yours was peaceful.

But I will tell you that before you joke about what occurred at the Sanders’ home Monday evening, first consider what his kids just experienced. Consider the fact that they will not forget what they witnessed any time soon. Consider the fact that they have been, and will likely continue to be thrown in the middle of what is an ugly divorce and end to a destructive relationship.

Instead, keep the Sanders family, and any other family that unfortunately has to deal with similar domestic violence, in your thoughts and prayers. Hope and pray that they may see the end of this violence, that this issue will be resolved and that they may live without fear in the future.