The National Football League is not devoid of plenty of controversies. We’ve witnessed some of the most world-changing events through individual actions and in-actions in the NFL. Over the years, the game has become more political and complex than it used to be because of these controversies.
However, we still enjoy the sport’s excitement, and we can tell that it is some of the most incredible sports for fans and players. We go through the weeks and get insight odds, such as the NFL Week 9 odds. In that case, it has become some of the most anticipated sporting seasons in the Country.
But with the growing popularity, controversies are bound to increase, and more people will come on board to ensure their voices are heard. In that case, we would keep seeing more people try to stand up for themselves. Aside from that, we have scandals that make the news and cause people to doubt the players’ integrity.
In that case, we’ve put together some highly controversial moments in the NFL that caused a significant uproar in the community. You should continue reading this guide to learn about these NFL controversies. Let’s get into it.
Tom Brady and the Deflated Footballs
The retired former New England Patriots quarterback was once in a controversial situation, where he was accused alongside the Pats for their connection to an AFC championship game in 2014. Both parties were accused of deflating the balls used during their game against Indianapolis Colts in the Championship.
Brady was suspended for four games after the incident and completed the punishment in the 2016 season. In addition to Brady’s sentence, the team got a fine of about $1 million, and they were forced to forfeit two draft picks. At the peak of this controversy, the team and Brady went on to win the LI Super Bowl.
Colin Kaepernick’s Kneeling
In recent years, one of the most famous controversies in the NFL is the kneeling incident when Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the U.S. national anthem for the game between the Wisconsin Natives and San Francisco 49ers. It was a move to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the Country.
However, his decision created a raucous atmosphere in the sporting world and not only in the NFL. He had many supporters, and others felt he was disrespectful to the Country. The controversy went on to play a major role in his career as he eventually became a free agent, and since then, he never got signed to another.
Dez Bryant’s Controversial Catch
Another one on our list is the controversial catch by the Dallas Cowboys player. The game was a playoff match between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers in 2014.
It was an intense match that any moment could make a significant difference in the result of the game. Therefore, that catch and the call that followed became a problem.
After Bryant made the catch, the referees ruled it out because it was conceived that it wasn’t a football move. In that case, it was supposed to be disallowed. Four years after the incident, the committee concluded that the call was wrong. If the referees had not made a bad call, the Texas team would have received a restart from the one-yard line.
Suspension of Ray Rice
Our next controversy is a big one involving Ray Rice when he was found guilty of third-degree aggravated assault. The Baltimore Ravens player was first fined up to $15,000 and suspended for the first two matchups of the season in 2014.
However, a video showing him throwing a punch and knocking out Janay Palmer made the punishment worse.
He was kicked out of the NFL. However, his criminal charges were dropped after Rice agreed to finish court-sanctioned counseling. Following the incident, the NFL has changed its policy when it comes to domestic violence.
It is a six-game suspension for first offenders. Meanwhile, a second offense leads to immediate booting.
Washington Name Change
Starting their journey as Boston Braves, the team made a change in 1937 when they moved to Washington D.C. Since then; it has been an incredible journey for many players and fans alike. However, there has been a turn from the general public that the name and imagery the franchise was using was offensive.
As a result, in 2020, the moniker for the team was updated. It didn’t end there, as the team went from being called the Washington Football Team to becoming the Washington Commanders in 2022.
Aaron Hernandez Conviction
One of the biggest stories in NFL history is that of Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots who was charged and convicted of the murder of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd was Hernandez’s fiancee, and after multiple investigations, Hernandez was found guilty.
He was sent to life imprisonment without parole, but in 2017, he committed suicide in prison, and he was then diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain injury that causes behavioral issues.