Widely considered the most popular American sports league, the NFL has played its 2014 season under a dark cloud that’s been the result of multiple domestic violence issues.
The NFL’s and Baltimore Ravens’ handling of the Ray Rice incident made national news and they’ve yet been able to escape the negative spotlight. Since the league’s suspending of Rice, other players have been arrested for alleged domestic assault.
Rice was initially suspended for two games before it was increased to an indefinite suspension that also came with the Ravens terminating his contract after additional video of the incident was released.
Commissioner-elect, Rob Manfred, said recently MLB is working with the players’ union to develop a policy for the handling of domestic assault cases, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
We’re having ongoing discussions with them. The tone has been very positive. I’m sure, like with most issues in recent years, we’ll come up with a good solution.”
While implementing a policy sooner rather than later would behoove MLB, Tony Clark, executive director of the players’ union, said there isn’t a firm date by which a policy needs to be in place:
Our commitment is to making sure we have a policy that is representative of the concerns of both parties. Is there a time frame? Is there a drop-dead date by which we want to have it in place? No.”
While it’s been NFL primarily under investigation for alleged domestic assault, the grave crime carried over into the NHL when Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was arrested Monday. The NHL immediately responded by suspending Voynov indefinitely, which was a disciplinary action the Kings said they support through a released statement.
Under the current collective bargaining agreement, the commissioner would have the authority to suspend a player at the center of domestic violence under the just cause provision. Manfred will replace Bud Selig, who is retiring, as commissioner in January.