Black Women Challenge NFL on Domestic Violence

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As the National Football League continues to grapple with its policies on domestic violence and sexual assault, Black women have stepped forward to ensure the NFL gets it right this time.

Since footage surfaced of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his wife unconscious, the Black Women’s Round­table (BWR), a civic engagement consortium, has closely watched the NFL’s domestic violence policy scandal unfold.

On September 15, NFL Com­mis­sioner Roger Goodell announced the appointment of a small council to advise the league: the appointees were Lisa Friel, former head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney’s Office; Jane Randel co-founder of national advocacy group, NO MORE; and Rita Smith, former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

All three appointees are white in a league that is 66 percent Black.

“We saw that all the people accused and arrested were Black men, yet the victims we always see put on TV are white women. We don’t want to see the league take the approach that their only obligation is to turn players over to the criminal justice system,” says Elsie Scott, director of the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center at Howard University, and BWR member. Scott has also developed domestic violence trainings for both the NYPD and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).

Read the full story at the Louisiana Weekly