New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NFL has tightened punishments for domestic violence under its personal conduct policy.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the new punishments, which will apply to all league personnel, in a letter to all team owners.
According to the letter, a six-game suspension without pay will be meted for the first offense and a lifetime ban from the league for a second offense.
In case of first offense, the length of the penalty could increase in these cases: an employee was involved in a prior incident before joining the NFL; violence involving a weapon; choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman; or in the presence of a child.
A second-time offender may file for reinstatement after one year but there is no assurance the petition would be granted, the letter said.
A league source said the policy is not retroactive, meaning all personnel have a clean slate. If a player commits a crime while in college or high school and then has a first offense while in the NFL, the player could be subject to a suspension harsher than six games.
The new policy came after Goodell was criticized for his light punishment on Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who received a two-game suspension in July for assaulting his then-fiancee in February.
“At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals,” Goodell wrote. “We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence.”