12 Seahawks Way
Renton, WA 98056
September 22, 2015
Dear Seattle Seahawks,
Football season is here and Domestic Violence Awareness Month is approaching. As fans of the Seahawks and as agencies serving your fans, we want to voice our concern about the Seahawks drafting Frank Clark despite his publically documented abusive behavior towards his girlfriend in November 2014 in Ohio. The Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence (PCCADV) is comprised of several non-profit and government organizations, working against domestic violence in the South Sound. Many PCCADV members work directly with victims and offenders of domestic violence.
Since Clark’s draft in May 2015, many articles and questions surfaced involving Clark’s arrest for domestic assault. The Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence (PCCADV) thinks the Seahawks’ actions don’t match the values of the Seahawks. It appears the Seahawks have chosen athletic skill over non-abusive behavior and character. As Seahawks fans and supporters, we expect more. The police report from Clark’s arrest in Nov 2014 and statements from those who witnessed the attack clearly point to Clark physically abusing his then-girlfriend. As professionals working within the field of domestic violence (DV), we are aware that prosecutors and judges often fail DV victims by dropping charges or charging “disorderly conduct” instead of a DV charge. Despite this the Seahawks can easily see the truth of the abuse that occurred by reading the police reports, survivor and witness statements (like the survivor’s brothers, the responding officers, and the hotel clerk). In spite of this information and evidence, the Seahawks’ General Manager stated in a press conference “We would never take a player that struck a female or had a domestic violence dispute like that.’’ The witnesses reported in the police report that Clark struck and strangled his then-girlfriend. Domestic Violence is not limited to someone being 'hit' or 'struck” it includes a range of behaviors and Mr. Clark's behavior of strangling his girlfriend is domestic violence. The Seahawks openly admit that the only “witness” they spoke to was Clark, who we presume would be biased about his behavior. The information from the police report from Perkins Township was made public and it is available on the internet by the Sundusky Register and kirotv.com. The information in the police report and news reports clearly documented abusive behavior and domestic abuse. Our focus for this letter is not to punish Frank Clark because that can only be done by the prosecutor and court in the County and State in which he committed the crime. Our purpose is to advise and enlighten the Seahawks organization that a thorough review of the information available or honest statement of the Seahawks decision to draft Mr. Clark regardless of his behavior, was needed in this circumstance.
The Seahawks seem to have ignored the issue of the NFL's zero tolerance policy and setting a good example to youth and fans in favor of making money on a player. This draft choice goes in direct conflict to Russell Wilson's Pass the Peace Campaign and Why Not You Foundation partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It is our hope that the Seahawks players and leadership excel not only in football but also in the personal development of its players and leadership.
In the Criminal Justice System perpetrators are fined by the Court or assessed a “crime victim assessment” to help defray some of the cost for medical, services and counseling for victims. The NFL issues fines teams/players for DV offenses, therefore we at the PCCADV think it is fair to issue a fine for the Seahawks for violating the “zero tolerance policy” for players who perpetrate domestic abuse. According to National Public Radio (NPR), the NFL fined Ray Rice $58,000 for attacking his fiancée.
The PCCADV hereby fines the Seattle Seahawks $58,000 for drafting Frank Clark, disregarding the facts about domestic abuse he committed in November 2014. This fine is due in 60 days from date of this letter. It can be paid to any Domestic Violence victim advocacy or education organization within Washington State.
There are several local Domestic Violence organizations and non-profits located in Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Snohomish, Skagit and counties throughout Washington State. Some organizations that would qualify are:
- Our organization, The Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence is also a non- profit and though we do not serve domestic violence victims directly, we support the organizations in Pierce County that provide services to victims.
- Any one of DV victim/survivor shelters in those counties.
- Any Tribal affiliated DV victim/offender programs in those counties.
The PCCADV can assist the Seahawks organization to identify domestic violence victim service providers within Washington State so donations and partnerships can be established.
It is Ordered the Seattle Seahawks shall pay:
$ 500.00 Crime Victim Assessment Fine
Total: $ 58,500.00
In lieu of paying the $58,000 fine assessed, the Seattle Seahawks players, coaching staff and management can join with the Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence in bringing awareness to the issues of domestic violence by:
1) Attending the Tacoma-Pierce County Domestic Violence Awareness Rally on Friday ￼10/2/2015 at noon in Tacoma.
￼2) Wearing PURPLE during the month of October on and off the field. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month as well as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
￼3) Establish a partnership with Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence to foster a better understanding of domestic violence.
The PCCADV welcomes the opportunity to share information and educate the Seahawks team and organization about the serious issue of domestic violence.
Please contact The PCCADV to follow up on this letter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence (PCCADV) Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence
CC: John Schneider, Sandy Gregory, Russell Wilson, KIRO news, Seattle Times, Rita Smith
http://www.kirotv.com/…/police-report-frank-clark-ob…/nk9Rc/ http://www.sanduskyregister.com/new... http://www.seahawks.com/…/russell-wilson-launches-pass-peac… http://whynotyoufdn.org/