MLB, players union adopt new domestic violence policy

Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:23pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Major League Baseball and the players' union have unveiled a new policy on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse under which players can be banned even if they are not convicted of a crime.

According to the policy announced on Friday, the MLB Commissioner will have the authority to discipline a player who commits an act of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse for just cause.

There is no minimum or maximum penalty under the policy and the Commissioner can hand out the punishment he believes is appropriate.

The Commissioner's authority to discipline is also not dependent on whether the player is convicted or pleads guilty to a crime.

"We believe that these efforts will foster not only an approach of education and prevention but also a united stance against these matters throughout our sport and our communities," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a joint statement with the Players Association (MLBPA).

Last December the National Football League owners endorsed what they called a tougher personal conduct policy in the wake of several domestic violence incidents involving players.

Some of the other items listed in baseball's long-awaited policy include educating players about domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse at regular intervals.

Also, the Commissioner may place a player accused of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse on paid leave for up to seven days while the allegations are investigated before making a disciplinary decision.

The two sides also established what they called a Joint Policy Board, comprised of three experts in the field of   Continued...

A baseball ready for export is pictured at the Rawlings factory in Turrialba, Costa Rica March 3, 2010. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate