Atlanta Falcon Defensive Tackle Ra’Shede Hageman Must Go


Domestic violence has entered the spotlight once again this week in the NFL. The Atlanta Falcons must move on from their own domestic violence fiasco and release defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman immediately.

The hot topic around NFL circles this week stemmed from the domestic violence case involving Giants kicker Josh Brown. News circulated that Giants owner John Mara was aware of Brown’s abusive behavior to his ex-wife, as far back as last year’s Pro Bowl. Yet, no action was taken until this week when the NFL placed the Giants kicker on paid leave — hardly a just punishment for a repeated abuser.

So, how does this pertain to the Atlanta Falcons, you ask?

Well, the Falcons also have a domestic violence case on their hands. It was first reported in September by D. Orlando Ledbetter that Falcons defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman was charged with three misdemeanors pertaining to a March incident.

“a person arrested on the family violence charge Hageman faces spells out that the perpetrator ‘intentionally causes substantial physical harm or bodily harm to another.’”

In a USA Today article by A.J. Perez, “a person arrested on the family violence charge Hageman faces spells out that the perpetrator ‘intentionally causes substantial physical harm or bodily harm to another.’” To make matters worse, the Falcons organization knew of these charges since March 21, when the team alerted the NFL office of Hageman’s arrest.

The closest thing Ra’Shede has received as punishment for his conduct has been being inactive for the season’s opening game. The team argued he was inactive for game plan reasons, but can we really believe that after he’s been active for every other game since?

These slaps on the wrist and tolerance for domestic violence need to stop.

Now one may argue that we need to let the justice system play out or a person is innocent until proven guilty, but organizations have released players for lesser accusations. For a franchise that has faced animal cruelty charges, artificial crowd noise violations, and, more recently, penalties relating to excessive contact in offseason workouts, the Falcons can’t afford another offense on their record.

This also isn’t Ra’Shede Hageman’s first transgression with the team either. In his rookie year, Hageman was outed for using his Instagram account to try to acquire marijuana from a friend. While Ra’Shede cited a hacker for the offense, the team swept the controversy under the rug with no discipline to speak of.

The Falcons are starting to win again on the field as they’re off to another impressive start to the season. But until they clean up the off the field issues, that success will be overshadowed by the dark clouds.

Enough is enough, Mr. Blank. It’s time to move on from Ra’Shede Hageman.