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Former Buccaneers front office executive says domestic violence cover-ups were standard

NFL teams normally cover up incidents of domestic abuse. This needs to change.

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Jerry Angelo poses alongside Ronde Barber, Mark Dominik, Greg Schiano and Tony Dungy.
Jerry Angelo poses alongside Ronde Barber, Mark Dominik, Greg Schiano and Tony Dungy.

The NFL has been hit with a spate of domestic abuse incidents in recent months, most notably the infamous case of Ray Rice. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been spared having to deal with these issues -- at least as far as we know. But former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo says in a USA Today interview that NFL teams routinely covers up incidents of domestic violence.

"I made a mistake," Jerry Angelo said. "I was human. I was part of it. I'm not proud of it."

Angelo claims that they'd simply move on from domestic abuse situations, never confronting them. "For whatever reason, it just kind of got glossed over. I'm no psychiatrist, so I can't really get into what that part of it is. I'm just telling you how it was."

Jerry Angelo worked for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 14 years, and he worked under Lovie Smith for eight. Odds are that what he talked about either happened with the Bucs, or under the current head coach of the Bucs.

In fact we can be almost certain this has happened with the Bucs at one time or another: an estimated 1.3 million American women are subjected to domestic violence annually, based on a 1995 National Violence Against Women survey, funded by the CDC and department of justice. The odds that this hasn't involved at least one Buccaneer at one point are extremely low.

We can only hope that the next time the Bucs are faced with an incident of domestic violence involving one of their players, or other employees, they won't cover it up. Hopefully, they understand now that that is not the right thing to do.