U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has once again ripped the NFL, this time saying the league’s recent efforts to handle the problem of domestic violence amongst its players is a “mockery of any real commitment.”
Blumental wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell saying he had “serious concerns” about the NFL’s commitment to domestic violence and wants them to clarify the terms of its financial commitment to the Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
He says the $5 million annual pledge to the Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center is not enough, calling it “terribly insufficient,” noting that the league spends $10 million on the Super Bowl halftime show and receives $5 billion a season in television rights revenue.
“This amount is barely a fraction of the financial support needed by the organizations that every day provide shelter, counseling, and education across the country,” Blumenthal wrote.
Blumenthal also wants Goodell to provide timelines for how the league is going to fulfill its requirements and slammed the league for plans to run public service announcements during the Super Bowl, calling the ads “self-serving.” He criticized the NFL last year, saying the league was too slow in giving stricter punishment to former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
"Taken in totality, I believe that the NFL’s handling of its response to public outcry over the league’s role in domestic violence is a clear indication of why additional oversight of professional sports leagues is necessary," Blumenthal said.
The NFL was forced to change its policies on domestic violence after their handling of the cases involving Rice, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were publicly criticized.