The NFL has apparently heard the chatter loud and clear regarding domestic violence andthe repercussions laid down from the league. In a letter to all owners, Roger Goodell admitted he “didn’t get it right” regarding his handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case and its subsequent suspension.
Jane McManus reports that the NFL will now enforce a six game suspension for a first offense of domestic violence and a lifetime ban should a second offense occur. Rand Getlin points out that not only will these new domestic and sexual assault guidelines impact players, but ALL personnel. Goodell also states that the NFL has been trying to strengthen its response to impaired driving but have met issues dealing with the NFLPA.
Following the league’s ruling and handling of Rice’s situation, there has been much vitriol from inside and outside league circles. Many have rightly questioned how the act of abuse can garner a (much) shorter punishment than using recreational or performance-enhancing drugs.
Looking across social media, you’d see pop culture sites and individual citizens mocking the NFL and their propensity to look the other way, or make excuses for their stars so they can keep them playing (and making them money.) Now, Goodell and Company have taken a step forward to reinstate credibility when it comes to matters such as this.
Today’s news won’t alleviate any angst in regards to the Rice situation, but at least moving forward these very serious situations will be met with serious repercussions. Perhaps next on the list, the NFL will take a look at updating other policies.
You can find the NFL’s letter in its entirety here.
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