NEW: NOW denounces policy, says it excludes provisions for taking care of the victims
NFL teams endorsed the enhanced policy unanimously
New measures include a more extensive list of prohibited conduct
The players' union says it has not seen the policy
NFL teams have unanimously endorsed a new personal conduct policy for all NFL employees after discussions that included experts on domestic violence and sexual assault, the league announced Wednesday.
The new measures include a more extensive list of prohibited conduct, independent investigative procedures, and specific criteria on paid leave for an individual charged with a violent crime.
It also includes a six-game suspension for crimes involving violent conduct, including domestic violence and sexual assault, which Commissioner Roger Goodell had written about in an August memo to owners. The suspension could be longer if there are “possible mitigating or aggravating circumstances.”
Goodell called the enhanced policy “significantly more robust, thorough and formal.” It applies to all NFL personnel, not just players.
George Atallah, a spokesman for the NFL Players Association, said the union has not seen the new policy.
“There will be a lot of analysis about the differences in our formal proposal and what the NFL will present today on personal conduct policy,” he tweeted before the league’s announcement.
“Sadly, those discussions will be through the media, not through formal negotiations, which the NFL has said they’re not interested in.”
In a statement on its website, the players’ union said it was never offered the professional courtesy of seeing the new policy before it was announced publicly.
The National Organization for Women said the NFL is missing a vital aspect in its policy.
“The victim is an afterthought in this ‘new’ policy – as she was in the old policy,” NOW President Terry O’Neill said in a written statement. “There is no guarantee that economic support will be there for as long as it takes for a victim to get back on her feet, and no indication that the NFL even understands that a six-game unpaid suspension could spark even higher level of violence.”
A new conduct committee will include Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Bears owner George McCaskey and Texans owner Robert McNair. Other members are Dee Haslam, the wife of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam; Cowboys Executive Vice President Charlotte Jones Anderson and two former players who hold ownership stakes – Warrick Dunn and John Stallworth.
Their job will be to review the policy at least once a year.