Women's groups blast NFL's new personal conduct policy

Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:38pm EST
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By Steve Ginsburg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Women's advocacy groups on Thursday excoriated NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's changes to the league's personal conduct policy, saying it does not do enough to help victims and hold players who commit domestic violence accountable.

National Football League owners voted on Wednesday to accept Goodell's revised program, hoping to stem criticism that has tarnished the league's image.

"It's an exercise in public relations," National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill told Reuters. "Roger Goodell's idea of leadership is to fake out the public.

"And he thinks if he can fake it long enough, the spotlight on this issue will go away. That's his whole plan."

Under the new policy, Goodell will no longer make initial ruling in misconduct cases but will remain in charge of appeals.

Goodell's toughened disciplinary guidelines announced in August for domestic violence were maintained: six games for a first offense and a lifetime ban, subject to review after one year, for a second.

O'Neill wants economic support for the victim and a system to correlate the danger of the offense with the length of the suspension.

"This is not one-size-fits-all," she said. "The automatic six-game suspension might be dangerous. Where's the commitment to the victim and the dangerousness of the situation?"   Continued...

Sep 19, 2014; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media at a press conference at New York Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports