When the NFL doled out a two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice after he was caught on video knocking out his wife at an Atlantic City casino, the public outcry was nearly universal. Many fans — both male and female — demanded a harsher punishment, noting the current policies reflected badly on how the NFL viewed women, in general.
On Thursday, the NFL heeded the public’s concerns and instated a much harsher domestic violence policy. ESPN’s Jane McManus was one of the first to break the news:
The NFL announced sweeping new measures on domestic violence in a letter to owners today; Six games for 1st offense, lifetime ban for 2nd.
— Jane McManus (@janesports) August 28, 2014
With a mandatory six-game suspension for the first violation and a lifetime ban for a second, the league is taking a much stronger stance against domestic abuse. And the policy doesn’t just apply to players, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Key phrase in new domestic violence policy sent to NFL owners: “These disciplinary consequences apply to all NFL personnel.” ALL personnel. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 28, 2014
The public has largely been reacting positively to the new harsher penalties, but many think it’s come too late in light of Rice’s recent violation. Still others think the six-game first-time violation doesn’t go far enough. What do you think?
I’ve been a loud critic of @nflcommish often, but he got it right today on domestic violence punishment for ALL NFL personnel.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) August 28, 2014
Anyone who thinks it’s BS that the NFL now gives lifetime bans for domestic violence has horrible priorities.
— Scott Carasik (@ScottCarasik) August 28, 2014
One player, one victim too late for those NFL rules they plan to put in place on domestic violence smh — 49ers Hub (@49ersHub) August 28, 2014
Good move by the NFL on the new Domestic Violence policy….a little too late. How about a new marijuana policy that makes sense too
— Nathan Zegura (@NathanZegura) August 28, 2014
According to one sports law expert, NFL players were not consulted about the change and could challenge it, though one wouldn’t think they’d risk the P.R. hit.
Domestic violence falls under Personal Conduct Policy which was not collectively bargained; player could challenge as anti-trust violation
— Eric Macramalla (@EricOnSportsLaw) August 28, 2014