NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has a plan to combat domestic violence in the league and in the community. USA Today reported on Saturday, Oct. 4, that Goodell recently sent a memo to chief executives and club presidents of the league highlighting the actions that have taken place to address the issue of domestic violence.
The memo discusses the seven aspects that were addressed these past couple of weeks. The first was the visit to the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin, Texas last weekend.
The organization invited Goodell to check out the facility, and although he did not take part in calls he was able to speak with advocates who worked there. CEO Katie Ray-Jones said, “At one point he was physically moved to tears as he heard stories from our advocates about what women were encountering…” The memo states that since the visit the Hotline has been able help more “victims/survivors” than they had the week prior due to the financial support from the NFL. Specifically they were able to attend to “20 percent more calls, chats and texts than a week ago.”
Another action addressed in the memo was the addition of Prof. Beth E. Richie to the group of outside experts. Richie is an expert on domestic violence with “considerable experience in domestic violence issues”. She is currently the director of the Institute of Research on Race and Public Policy and a professor of African American studies, criminology, sociology, gender and women’s studies, and criminal law and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
This addition is said to be the answer to criticism Goodall received that there were no African-American women on the panel. The group, that meets daily, is comprised of Lisa Friel, Peter Harvey, Tony Porter, Jane Randel and Rita Smith. Goodell also met with 17 members of the Black Women’s Roundtable. The memo states that “the discussion was candid and wide-ranging, and identified important cultural issues that should be accounted for to make sure that our programs are as effective as possible.”
Other aspects of the memo included; meeting with former players, meeting with the Professional Football Players Mothers Association and the National Football League Players Fathers Association, the appointment of former federal district judge Barbara Jones in the Ray Rice appeal and the continuation of domestic violence and sexual assault awareness during their “network television time.” This month also marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Roger Goodell and the NFL continue to address domestic violence in next week’s league meeting.