Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO Teresa Younger issued a statement following the NFL’s response to video footage of Ravens player Ray Rice brutally attacking his then-fiancé.
“The public outcry upon seeing videotape of Ray Rice brutally attacking his then fiancé was loud enough to prod Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ravens to impose stronger penalties – removing Rice from football, at least for now.
“This latest reminder of the NFL’s violence against women problem renews concerns about its new policy, which only begins to tackle the issue of domestic violence among NFL players and fails to address the larger issues of other forms of violence against women and rampant misogyny within the NFL.
“From the skimpy, sexualized “uniforms” cheerleaders are forced to wear to the denigrating ads during big games from companies like Go Daddy, the NFL shows a pattern of sexism. Even now, the commissioner appears to fall short of implementing systemic change that will get at the root cause of the violence. He may have dropped the ball again by failing to move bold initiatives that do more than punish players by actually supporting women.
“The NFL must stop promoting sexism on and off of the field – and start promoting women. (Perhaps it’s time for the commissioner to step aside and a woman to step up.) Goodell must lead by example and show that he and the NFL value women, including women’s leadership in and contributions to football.
“As fans, we should be demanding a higher standard of accountability and responsibility from football players and officials. In fact, Goodell only seems to take stronger action when the public outcry has been loud.
“Sports fans, we need to demand better. We have the power to force the NFL to change. Join the Ms. Foundation in calling on Goodell to be a leader in ending violence against women.”