A sports league known for violence is tackling domestic violence off the field.
On Thursday, the NFL announced a plan to ban players for life after their second violent offense.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to the league’s 32 owners. In the letter he outlined a six-game, unpaid ban for players who violate the league’s domestic violence policy. A second incident would result in a lifetime ban.
“This, I think, begins to unravel that idea that violence against women in any form or fashion is allowable and is something we can turn our face away from,” said Pat Shea, the President and CEP of the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
“We are sixth in the nation at the rate in which women are killed by men,” explained Shea.
She went on to say that Goodell’s letter is a step in the right direction.
The move comes after the Baltimore Ravens were criticized for the way they handled a violent incident involving running back Ray Rice.
Cameras caught him dragging his then fiancé out of an elevator after punching her in the face. Rice was suspended for two games.
In his letter to the league owners, Goodell acknowledged that the two game suspension was a bad decision.
“What happens in our society currently is a man who has extreme athletic ability is given sort of a free ride. When it comes to bad behavior, bad boys still get to play football and maybe this changed that dynamic. Maybe bad boys will be asked to be good gentlemen before they are allowed to be great football players,” Shea told News 2.
Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence can contact the YWCA crisis line at 615-242-1199.