1090 The Fan/NEW YORK (AP) — The National Football League announced enhanced penalties for players who are charged with domestic violence.
Under the revised personal conduct policy, any NFL employee will receive a six-game ban for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense, according to the Indianapolis Star.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the new changes in a letter sent to all NFL owners on Thursday.
Goodell told teams to distribute his memo to all players on their rosters and to post it in locker rooms. It reads in part: “Domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They are never acceptable and have no place in the NFL under any circumstances.”
An initial domestic violence offense will draw a six-week ban without pay, although the memo says “more severe discipline will be imposed if there are aggravating circumstances such as the presence or use of a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child.”
A second offense will result in banishment from the league, but a player will be allowed to petition for reinstatement after a year.
Roger Goodell and the NFL came under fire earlier this year when the league issued a two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens runningback Ray Rice. Rice had been involved in a domestic violence incident with his then-fiancé.
Critics of the ban believed it to be too light, considering that other players have been banned for four or more games for drug use and drug possession. Recently, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was issued a year-long suspension after a testing positive for marijuana use. (Gordon had previously failed a drug test, and this was not a first offense.)
In the letter issued to NFL owners Thursday, Goodell addressed the Rice suspension, admitting “I didn’t get it right.”
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