NFL’s “zero-tolerance” policy on domestic violence

KIMT News 3 – Not long after the NFL implemented a new policy on domestic abuse, one player is putting that policy to the test and has many watching.

Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers was arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly abusing his fiance in their bay area home.

This is the first real test for the new domestic abuse policy, and it’s expected to set an example not only for other players, but for young athletes as well.

The NFL has implemented a new policy on domestic violence that would penalize players up to six games for a first offense and a lifetime ban for repeat offenders.

Players can appeal however, the lifetime ban penalty.

As the Athletic Director for Mason City High School, Bob Kenny is disappointed to see more athletes become poor role-models for their young counterparts.

“There’s no room for that, and they should be taking steps against it. That should be a no-brainer. We need to take steps to make professional players, or anybody be more accountable for their actions,” said Kenny.

Recently, Baltimore Raven Ray Rice was suspended for two games following an arrest for assaulting his fiance.

After weeks of criticism over the penalty, the NFL would later admit that the punishment was too lax.

“That was really disappointing, but then to see how quickly the commissioner responded and came out with new memos and new policies was great. I think they’re great policies for any place of employment, especially for professional sports teams because people are always watching them,” said Domestic Abuse Program Supervisor, Mary Beyerhelm Huey.

Some believe with the stricter rules in place, McDonald will be made an example of and it could be a good thing.

Especially for the student athletes that look up to the professionals.

“Maybe that will make them think that the next time I do something like this, I’m done. That’s a choice, either you clean up your act or you choose not to be a professional athlete,” said Kenny.

Kenny says he also works to remind athletes that they represent more than themselves when out in the community.

Whether it’s on social media or elsewhere, student athletes are expected hold themselves to a higher standard.

“You’re still a Mohawk, you’re representing the Mohawks and that should mean something,” said Kenny.

The new policy has been in effect since it’s release last week and makes it clear, there is no gray area when it comes to domestic abuse and violence.

In the memo to NFL owners, the penalties are much harsher for those cases involving a pregnant woman.

In the case of Ray McDonald, his wife was pregnant.


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