After dealing with a wave of personal conduct issues involving players — stemming from domestic violence cases, headlined by Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee, to even a child-abuse case with Adrian Peterson — the NFL has created a new personal conduct policy.
On Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the league's new personal conduct policy.
"This morning, the NFL owners unanimously adopted a new personal conduct policy that applies to everyone in the NFL: Owners, coaches, league staff, team employees and players," Goodell said, as reported by CBS Sports. "It significantly strengthens our conduct rules and programs. The high standards will be upheld through a rigorous process, one that is clear, formal, consistent and transparent. It includes due process for league investigations, the addition of an advisory group of experts, and a new disciplinary officer. This will be a highly qualified individual with a criminal justice background, hired as soon as possible. For the newly created position, a special counsel for investigations and conduct. The person will oversee our investigations and decide the discipline for violations of the policy."
The new personal conduct policy comes as a result of the consultation of upwards of 150 experts on domestic violence, sexual assault and violent crime, according to Goodell. The league also released a flow chart illustrating the chain of events that will happen once the NFL learns of a possible violation of their policy.
Once a violation of the personal conduct policy occurs, the NFL will begin an investigation. If law enforcement is conducting their own investigation, the league may await the outcome before proceeding with its investigation. Players will be put on paid leave while the investigation is taking place.
After a league/law enforcement investigation, the NFL will reach a disciplinary decision. The individual may appeal, in which case it will be heard by a panel of experts, before a final decision is reached by the commissioner.
Other amendments include: "A baseline suspension of six games without pay for violations involving 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."
The policy also says that the NFL will provide "additional NFL-funded counseling and services for victims, families, and violators."
Also, Goodell has appointed a new league Conduct Committee, made up of owner representatives.
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