In an effort to end the NFL’s domestic-violence, public-relations nightmare, Commissioner Roger Goodell spent several hours Saturday at the headquarters of the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin, Texas.
Hotline officials invited Goodell, who has pledged multi-year, multimillion-dollar assistance since the league was rocked by the Ray Rice incident and other cases of domestic violence involving players.
Goodell’s visit, CEO Katie Ray-Jones told the Associated Press, was “emotional.” He did not listen to calls, but spoke with victim advocates.
“At one point he was physically moved to tears as he heard stories from our advocates about what women were encountering, that we took today,” Ray-Jones said.
Goodell, who was told by former players last week that the league had to act quickly when a player is accused of domestic violence, had no comment other than saying, “Doing the work, as they say” to reporters, and waving and he hopped into his limousine.
Ray-Jones said the hotline has seen an 84 percent spike in calls since video of Rice knocking out his then-fiancee was posted Sept. 8 and noted that tens of thousands of calls cannot be answered because of staffing issues.