Towards the end of 2014, the NFL imposed a much harsher penalty system for its personal conduct policy. The league drafted a new personal conduct policy with the more extensive punishments focusing on "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." Specifically, those crimes can land a player with a suspension of a whopping six games without pay. These harsher punishments are part of what seems to be a stricter stance the NFL is taking on domestic violence.
"No More" Ads
The NFL is launching an ad campaign with "No More" and USA Network, featuring short ads decrying domestic violence. The ads feature players that have seen incidents of violence or been affected by them and want to put a face to the notion. These ads are meant to air during games and also during a television marathon on USA Network. The foundation itself, No More, has recently come under fire as just a brand (or as another blogger put it "a sham"), without any real goals besides awareness, according to Deadspin. Whether this is true or not, it is pretty clear that the NFL is trying to stand itself in opposition to the issue. Football fans can expect their commercial breaks to be peppered with awareness commercials.
It is likely that this is an effort for the NFL to protect its own image given somewhat recent events involving players and situations that involve domestic violence investigations. Every situation is different but domestic violence allegations can damage a person, or in this case, an entire organization's image.
However, in spite of taking a stance on domestic violence, the league does not tolerate its players expressing their own individual opinions on the matter. For instance, William Gay, a cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers has been fined due to his actions regarding his stance on domestic violence. This past October was domestic violence awareness month, and in order to represent this, Gay chose to wear purple shoes on the field. It is not uncommon for players to want to advocate certain causes that they have strong feelings about on the field, but it almost always results in a sanction from the league. Gay has been fined over five thousand dollars for the incident.
It seems as though the NFL is wavering on its alleged stance on domestic violence, given the circumstances here. Several commenters online argue that even if the NFL runs its "No More" ads, a player must be in proper uniform regardless of his opinions on any matter. The phrase "save it for off the field" is often repeated in any article regarding Gay's action, or any other player that has altered his uniform to reflect a certain cause without league permission.
Regardless of whether the NFL stands one way or another on domestic violence, there is one place where the stance does not change: the court of law. If you are facing domestic violence charges contact Steve Karimi today at 206-621-8777.