THE HILL: Lawmakers urge sports leagues to review domestic violence policies

Oct 1, 2014
In The News

A bipartisan group of lawmakers urged the five major sports leagues to review their domestic violence policies in light of players' recent controversies.

Identical letters were sent to the heads of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer.

The letter, spearheaded by Reps. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), called on each athletic league to discourage domestic violence.

"We urge you in the strongest possible terms to use your profound platform to move our society toward a future where violence against women and children is not acceptable," they wrote. "When these vicious crimes are not properly addressed and when offenders are not held accountable, the cycles of violence continue, victims remain in constant jeopardy and fear, and the very lives of women and children are at stake."

Last month, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) took to the House floor to accuse the National Football League of being too lenient on its players accused of domestic violence. For example, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was initially only suspended for two games after he was accused of beating his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, unconscious. Only until TMZ released a video showing Rice punching Palmer in an elevator did the National Football League suspend him indefinitely.