Like a choir girl who takes her fingers out of her ears and realizes everyone else has been staring at her while she belts out “Let It Go” completely off-key, the NFL has perhaps figured out that its two-game suspension for Ray Rice was sadly lenient and out of step with what the rest of society considers acceptable.
According to the Washington Post, the league is considering a new penalty policy for players who commit acts of domestic violence. First offense: four to six games. Second offense: one-year.
Via the report:
“We need to have stricter penalties,” said one person with knowledge of the league’s deliberations on the matter. “I think you will see that. I believe the commissioner and others would like to see stricter penalties. We need to be more vigilant.”
That person said Goodell and the league “tried to stick with precedent” from previous NFL disciplinary measures when deciding on the length of Rice’s suspension.
“A lot of us were disturbed by what we saw” in the Rice case, the person said. “I think you will see something in probably the next few weeks. A first offense could be four to six games, definitely more than two. A second offense might be a year.”
The NFL wouldn’t comment, and sources were anonymous because of the “sensitive nature” of the topic; plus, multiple league officials — including Roger Goodell — recently defended the length of Rice’s suspension.
Is a four-game suspension for a “first-time offense” enough? Well, one-quarter of the season is certainly better than one-eighth, which is what Rice will serve this year. But if a player is guilty of domestic abuse more than once, even one year might not be enough.
This prospective change is a step in the right direction, but I’d like to see the domestic abuse suspension to be stricter than the one for smoking weed. Josh Gordon will potentially serve a year ban for repeated drug test failures… is that really comparable to repeated instances of beating up a woman? Of course not. Let’s put things in perspective, NFL.
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