• Tue, Aug 6 - 4:00 pm ET

Former New York Giant Luke Petitgout Physically Assaulted His Wife

Giants v Chargers

Luke Petitgout, formerly of a sports team called the New York Giants, surrendered to law enforcement this morning after allegedly assaulting his wife, Jennifer Petitgout. I’m going to call them each by their first names now so we don’t all get ourselves into a confused kerfluffle.

According to the NY Post, Luke and Jennifer were eating dinner to celebrate their wedding anniversary when they got into a fight, which turned quite violent. After accusing Jennifer of infidelity, Luke apparently beat her with her own purse and then threw her from a car. Jennifer immediately reported the assault to police, and was then treated at a hospital for the injuries she sustained.

Football is not a sport I care about because it’s not basketball, but I do care about how domestic violence is covered by the media. In the NY Post‘s version of this story, we learn some interesting (boring, unnecessary) facts about Petitgout’s career:

The 37-year-old Petitgout last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007 and was listed then at 6-foot-6, 308 pounds. He was picked by Big Blue out of Notre Dame in the 1999 draft and last played for the Giants in 2006.

This is far from the most egregious example I’ve seen, but listing his stats and playing history don’t seem entirely relevant to the real story, which is that he’s been accused of smacking his wife and throwing her out of a car. When stories about public figures getting violent break, they almost always include some sort of filler to buffer the harsh reality of the actual story. It’s there to serve the interest of the abuser—it’s to remind us that the alleged abuser is a famous person and not our typical conception of a criminal.

Photo: Getty Images

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  • Tania

    I’m always so torn when I read about football players experiencing massive moodswings. On the one hand, they’re physically strong men capable of doing extreme damage. On the other hand, they are literally brain damaged, all of them whose brains have been scanned, so who knows how that has affected them. Is it their intrinsic shitty personness, or is it brain damage making them do things they wouldn’t otherwise do? :/

  • http://poorgoop.com/ Samantha

    I understand why the New York Post, in covering an assault committed by a former New York athlete, would list when he played for the Giants and when he left, but I don’t understand the height and weight statistics, especially since it’s not like their contextualizing the injuries someone that big would have inflicted upon another human being.
    I hope she’s okay, and I hope no one tries to excuse this behavior. I feel like because football players are often diagnosed with early-onset dementia, all their bad behavior is swept under that rug without investigation.