SBD/August 14, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Sources: NFL Considering Stiffer Penalties For Domestic Violence Offenders

Rice was suspended just two games for his domestic violence arrest in February
The NFL is "considering toughening its penalties for players who commit acts of domestic violence, including a potential one-year ban for a second offense," according to sources cited by Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. Sources said that the policy, if implemented, could "establish guidelines for a suspension of four to six games without pay for a first offense and potentially a season-long suspension for a second incident." This comes after the league and Commissioner Roger Goodell "have been criticized heavily" following Ravens RB Ray Rice being suspended just two games for his highly publicized domestic violence arrest in February. It was "not clear if the potential new policy faces any significant obstacles to being put into effect." Two NFLPA sources said that the union "was not involved in the deliberations" for the policy (WASHINGTON POST, 8/14). BLEACHER REPORT's Mike Freeman wrote this would be a "landmark move by the NFL" and is "not a PR gimmick." The NFLPA will "have to give at least tacit approval," but it is unlikely the union would be interested in "fighting something like this." What is "interesting about the NFL's proposal is that it doesn't slowly escalate the way other punishments do." It goes from a "stiff first offense to basically a near-banishment." That is "significant because the league has recently been accused of tolerating the physical abuse of women." This potentially "shows there is no tolerance for domestic violence." If this rule is "enacted, it's smart and hearty." Freeman: "There's teeth there" (BLEACHERREPORT.com, 8/13).
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