Roger Goodell Memo Details NFL’s Domestic Violence Response
One week after his disaster of a press conference last Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to teams detailing what the league has so far done to improve its handling of domestic violence acts by players.
Goodell calls it, in part, an update on how the NFL is seeking to “set a positive example within our society.” Some would likely say Goodell might want to get the NFL’s house in order before making big statements about setting examples for society at large — but that’s a secondary matter for now. Read on for more details from the memo.
NFL executives met on Friday for “several hours” with players’ union officials to “continue discussing issues of personal conduct, including training, education, family services, and the disciplinary process.”
Um, OK. Cool. Although, to be fair, that does seem better than not continuing to discuss those issues.
The league has also “continued” meeting with “a wide range of groups” to inform the coming overhaul of the NFL’s personal conduct policies, which Goodell said at this press conference last Friday he hopes to have completed by the Super Bowl on Feb. 1. The league has “met with 11 former players, as well as individuals with law enforcement backgrounds, to discuss their views on standards of conduct, appropriate levels of assistance, and discipline,” according to Goodell.
The league has also met with “senior representatives of the U.S. Army” to learn more about how it addresses misconduct, including how it offers support services to families and victims, according to Goodell.
Goodell says the NFL has provided promotional time worth $3 million for the anti-domestic violence campaign NoMore.org to run ads during NFL games this weekend, beginning with Thursday night’s nationally televised game between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. He says the NFL is “evaluating how to use our broadcast promotional assets for the rest of the season in support of our efforts to address domestic violence and sexual assault on a broader basis.”
OK, now we’re getting a little warmer perhaps. But this next one is actually pretty cool.
Last week, the National Domestic Violence Hotline announced a longterm commitment (of an undisclosed amount) from the NFL to provide “much-needed resources” to help the support center aid domestic abuse victims. Goodell’s memo says the NFL’s support has already let the hotline hire 10 new “full-time advocates” and “10 more will be hired by the end of next week.” Together, Goodell says, that will allow the hotline to take up 800 more calls per day.
Given the NFL’s ongoing crisis of credibility and public image, memos like this will do little to mollify its critics. But some steps are better than none, perhaps, and it will take much more time to see if the league is actually able to achieve any meaningful change.
You can read the full memo here.