A group of sixteen female senators has sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell calling on the league to institute a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence.
In August, the NFL implemented a new domestic violence policy, under which violators are suspended six games for a first offense and suspended for life for a second offense. Goodell instituted the new policy in the wake of backlash to the two-game suspension he gave to then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
In the letter, also sent to the Baltimore Sun, the senators write they are concerned with the leniency of the new policy. From the letter:
"If you violently assault a woman, you shouldn’t get a second chance to play football in the NFL.”
"It is long past time for the NFL to institute a real zero-tolerance policy and send a strong message that the league will not tolerate violence against women by its players, who are role models for children across America."
The entire letter can be found here.
Goodell and the NFL are currently under fire over the handling of the Rice case. Earlier this week, Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after new video emerged on Monday showing Rice punching then-fiancée, now wife, Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
Critics have questioned whether the league received and/or viewed the video of Rice punching Palmer before rendering the initial punishment of a two-game suspension.
Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich said Wednesday he also believes there should be a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence offenders.
- Ben Estes