Former NFL Lineman Chad Wheeler Pleads Not Guilty In Domestic Violence Case

Former NFL linemen Chad Wheeler has pleaded not guilty to first-degree domestic violence assault, resisting arrest and domestic violence unlawful imprisonment. Wheeler officially entered his plea on Monday at King County's Maleng Regional Justice Center near Seattle. Until the matter is settled, Wheeler must remain in the state of Washington while wearing an ankle monitor. He must also keep away from firearms and his former girlfriend.

The former Seattle Seahawks tackle became the center of a major news story after he was accused of nearly beating his girlfriend to death. The incident in question took place on January 23 in Washington. During their interaction, Wheeler is accused of choking his Black girlfriend until she fell unconscious and leaving her there as he moved into the other room. After regaining consciousness, she called for help. When officers asked her if she thought she would die during the incident, she reportedly gave a harrowing response.

"I thought I already had," she told police, according to ESPN.

***The tweet below contains graphic material***

Further examination by medical professionals showed more injuries. The Black woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, had a dislocated elbow and a fractured humerus. She also suffered headaches, neck pain and vomited large amounts of blood following the incident.

As the woman received medical attention, pictures of the incident circulated around social media. Fellow NFL players also offered their thoughts on the matter. During a recent media session, Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce was asked about how the matter pertained to the league.

“To be honest, it’s disgusting,” Kelce said.

“What’s happened with that young lady, there’s no reason for that in this world. And he should be dealt with accordingly. I don’t even want to talk about that. It’s a very touchy subject. … I think everybody understands that that’s just flat-out wrong.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that players around the league have had to address matters of domestic violence. In the past, players such as Greg Hardy and Tyreke Hill have been accused of assaulting their significant others. Beyond football, Black women continue to be targeted by domestic abusers. The Institute for Women's Policy has found that more than four in ten Black women have experienced physical violence from a partner in their lifetime. Furthermore, the Women of Color Network found that Black women are 2.5 times more likely to face intimate partner violence than women of other races.

The NFL has not yet suspended or banned Wheeler from future play.

If you or someone you know have been affected by domestic abuse, please reach out: The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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