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MLB players to attend mandatory domestic violence education program

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Every major league player on 40-man rosters during spring training will attend a mandatory education program on domestic violence, reports the Associated Press.

The sessions will be coordinated by San Francisco-based Futures Without Violence in agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The first sessions start Thursday with the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics and the Chicago Cubs participating.

Players not on a 40-man roster will be an education program.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that the league will work on an effective policy for its players because "we're not going to settle for something less than that."

"We continue to discuss and work with the players' association on the disciplinary component of a policy," Manfred said this week. "I'm hopeful that we will reach an agreement with the players' association before opening day on that topic, and frankly I would be disappointed if we were not able to come to an agreement."

The collective bargaining agreement does include a clause where players can get treatment for alcohol-related and off-field violent offenses.

The CBA doesn’t spell out discipline for players that are charged with crimes "involving the use of physical force or violence, including but not limited to, sexual assault, domestic violence, resisting arrest, battery, and assault." It does allow Manfred or the player’s team to impose punishment how they see fit.

According to the report, MLB officials started meeting with groups after the NFL received bad press for the way it handled several players who were accused of domestic violence.

- Scooby Axson