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US Sports

11th Dec 2014

New NFL conduct policy includes six-match ban for assault, battery, domestic violence and child abuse

That ougtha' do it

Patrick McCarry

‘The policy is comprehensive. It is strong. It is tough,’ says NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Some would say not not tough

The NFL has announced a ‘revised and strengthened’ personal conduct policy and hopes to appoint a disciplinary officer in the coming weeks to enforce. It applies to team owners, players, coaches, back-room staff and employees.

The new policy was revealed by Goodell (pictured below) an includes a longer list of no-no’s for its star athletes. Among the punishments are six-game bans, without pay, for off-field misdemeanours involving domestic violence and child abuse. ‘Everyone in the NFL is accountable to tougher rules and better procedures… being part of the NFL is a privilege; not a right,’ declared Goodell.

Here are some of the measures:

  • Baseline suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, battery, domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse, other forms of family violence, or sexual assault, with consideration given to possible mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
  • Specific criteria for paid leave for an individual formally charged with a crime of violence, including domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

The policy announcement comes off the back of the Ray Rice furore earlier this year. The former Baltimore Raven was initially suspended for two games after footage emerged of him punching his then-fiancé (now wife) in an elevator.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Holds News Conference After Meeting With Team Owners

It was only after more footage of the assault emerged that the ban was increased to an indefinite one. That suspension was turned over on appeal in early December and Rice is back on the playing market again.

The personal conduct policy will also mean greater counselling and support services for players and their families.

A segment of the policy reads, ‘Anyone arrested or charged with conduct that would violate this policy will be offered a formal clinical evaluation, the cost of which will be paid by the league, and appropriate follow-up education, counselling or treatment programmes.’

For more on the new policy and comments from Goodell himself, check out the official NFL website.