All NFL personnel will participate in educational sessions on domestic violence and sexual assault within the next 30 days, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced in a memo to league staff.
Goodell also outlined new partnerships with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Sexual Violence Resource Center and said the domestic violence hotline received an 84% jump in calls from the time period of Sept. 8-15, with more than 50 percent of those calls going unanswered due to lack of staff.
Sept. 8 was the same day that a video was published by TMZ.com showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee, now-wife Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
"We will dedicate significant resources to raise awareness on the subjects of domestic violence and sexual assault, including support for victims," Goodell writes in the memo. "These are by no means final steps. We will continue to work with experts to expand and develop long-term programs that raise awareness, educate, and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault both within the NFL and in our society in general."
Later that week, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted by a Texas grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after authorities said he hit his 4-year-old son with a switch. Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has also appealed his conviction on two counts of domestic violence and is scheduled for a jury trial that starts Nov. 17.
This week, Goodell hired four women to help shape its domestic violence policies amid criticism over the way the league has handle recent episodes of child abuse and domestic violence. The new domestic violence policy now calls for a six-game suspension for a first-time offense and a lifetime ban for a second violation.
- Scooby Axson