NFL Institutes Six-Game Suspension For Domestic Violence

The NFL has updated its personal conduct policy to suspend any player or personnel without pay for six games if he commits an act of domestic violence. If there is a second incident, he would be banned by the league or a year before he could petition for reinstatement. The policy applies to domestic violence, assault, battery and sexual assault. Both changes will be effective immediately.

The update was announced today in a memo from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has been called out in the past for the league’s lax punishment of domestic violence compared to other infractions, like steroid or drug use. The most recent example was Baltimore Raven Ray Rice, who was suspended back in July for two games over an aggravated assault on his then-fiancee.

Goodell acknowledged the league’s failure in the past:

“My disciplinary decision [in the Rice case] led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Our personal conduct policy has long made clear that domestic violence and sexual assault are unacceptable. We clearly must do a better job of addressing these incidents in the NFL. And we will.”


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