16 U.S. senators will deliver a letter to Roger Goodell today calling for a “zero tolerance policy” for domestic abuse in the NFL. The senators’ letter comes just one day after a dozen House of Representatives members demanded more transparency in the NFL’s investigation of the Ray Rice case.
The letter, penned by 16 female legislators, calls on the NFL to adopt a “real zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence that will ensure that this type of violence and abuse has no place [in the NFL],” Politico reports.
The letter mentions that the NFL’s domestic abuse problem started long before the Ray Rice incident.
“We were shocked and disgusted by the images we saw this week of one of your players violently assaulting his now-wife and knocking her unconscious,” the senators write. “Tragically, this is not the only case of an NFL player allegedly assaulting a woman even within the last year.”
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The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of senators consisting of Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).
The group is aware of the NFL’s revamped policy that calls for first time offenders to be punished with a six game suspension. Still, they say the new policy isn't strict enough.
“We are deeply concerned that the NFL’s new policy, announced last month, would allow a player to commit a violent act against a woman and return after a short suspension,” the senators write. “The NFL’s current policy sends a terrible message to players, fans and all Americans that even after committing a terrible act of violence, you can quickly be back on the field.”