Montee Ball arrested for substantial battery - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Montee Ball battery arrest raises more NFL domestic violence concerns

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- The arrest of former Badgers football star Montee Ball comes as a shock to those who know him well and serves as an example of what advocates for domestic violence victims are fighting against.

Police say Ball faces a charge of substantial battery after an incident at a downtown Madison hotel. Ball was arrested and booked into the Dane County Jail early Friday morning after officers were called to the Hampton Inn & Suites. Police say Ball's girlfriend told officers she was thrown into a table, cutting her leg badly enough to need stitches. Ball admitted to pushing her. Police say he was cooperating with the investigation.

Ball's former Badgers teammate Marquis Mason tells 27 News an act of violence is very out of character for Ball.

The accusation comes at a rough time in Ball's career. He was let go from the Denver Broncos in September, picked up by the New England Patriots practice squad in December, but released earlier this week.

"It would take a toll, just like it would on anybody else," Mason says. "He dealt with it and he dealt with it in a very good way. He didn't have any trouble up until this point, so for this to happen now, it's just unbelievable."

Ball was arrested the same day Dallas police are launching a criminal investigation into domestic violence claims against Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. Advocates for victims of domestic violence say cases like these highlight their cause.

A USA Today database shows more than 90 NFL players have been arrested on domestic violence charges since 2000.

"There's a lot of fear among victims, a lot of fear of not being believed and not being supported when they are reporting, so I think that it just adds another layer of difficulty for victims and another barrier for victims to reach out for help," says Shannon Barry, executive director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services in Dane County.

Barry tells 27 News as the nation acknowledges domestic violence more, more people are coming forward to report crimes. One in four women and one in seven men are victims of intimate partner violence in their lifetime, according to Barry. The DAIS help line took 16,000 calls last year and that number is growing every year.

Efforts to reach victims are extending to the sports community. Once again, the NOMORE.org campaign will air a Super Bowl ad this Sunday. Barry says the nationwide platform can only help the cause, as will getting the word out about the high profile cases.

As for Ball, he hasn't yet been charged in the battery incident. His attorney declined to comment Friday on the case. Mason tells 27 News it could be a setback for Ball's NFL career, though he still hopes he'll have a future with the league.

Resources on domestic violence:

NOMORE.org

DAIS website

DAIS Help Line: 608-251-4445 or 800-747-4045

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police say former Badgers RB Montee Ball was arrested this morning for a substantial battery charge.

They say Ball was in a dispute with his girlfriend at the downtown Hampton Inn & Suites.  She told authorities she was thrown, he says he pushed her.  Police say his girlfriend's leg hit the corner of a table, cutting it, requiring stitches.

Police say Ball was entirely cooperative during the interview.

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