NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday announced severe new punishments for domestic violence by NFL players and personnel, citing as motivation the enormous backlash to his light discipline of Ray Rice.
My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will. [USA Today]
Rice, who was arrested after a brutal dispute that involved him dragging his unconscious then-fiancée out of an elevator, received a meager two-game suspension.
Under the new policy, assault, domestic violence, and sexual assault will result in a mandatory six-game suspension. A second offense will result in a lifetime ban.
Since the changes are being made to the league's Personal Conduct Policy, Goodell can implement them without the approval of the players' union.