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Thousands petition Commissioner Roger Goodell to address NFL’s domestic violence problem

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — In advance of the NFL’s first pre-season game, tens of thousands of people are calling on the NFL to address its domestic violence problem after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a woefully inadequate punishment to Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice for knocking out his then-fiancée and dragging her unconscious body from an elevator.

Yesterday, Ray Rice spoke out publicly for the first time since the news broke about the NFL’s meager two game suspension. CREDO and UltraViolet, two national advocacy groups working to protect women’s rights, are urging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to implement new guidance and appropriate discipline that matches the severity of the crime. The petitions have garnered 116,863 signatures in support and will be delivered to Roger Goodell today.

Read CREDO’s petition here:

Read UltraViolet’s petition here:

Starting today, UltraViolet is also launching ads on Twitter, search engines, and fantasy football sites across mobile and desktop platforms as the National Football League commences its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on August 2 and Pro Football Hall of Game to kick off the pre-season on August 3.

“This is not an isolated incident. The NFL is perpetuating a culture that tolerates violence against women. Responsibility for that culture goes straight to the top — Commissioner
Roger Goodell,” said Becky Bond, CREDO’s Political Director. “It’s simply unacceptable that the NFL doles out harsher punishment for pot smoking than for domestic violence.”

“The NFL has a serious domestic abuse problem that it has failed miserably at addressing,” said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet. “Their reaction to the Ray Rice case is
nothing short of shameful. Yet, is also sadly predictable as the league has made very clear that it is fine looking the other way when it comes to cases of domestic abuse. It is far past time the NFL clean up it’s act and learn to respect women.”

The NFL has doled out stiffer punishments to players caught using marijuana than to Ray Rice for assaulting a woman. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to respond to the public outcry from NFL fans since the news was made public about the league’s pathetic punishment of Ray Rice.

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CREDO is a social change network of 3.5 million activists, sending millions of petition signatures and over 100,000 calls to decision-makers each year. CREDO members also participate in meetings, protests and other direct action for progressive change.

UltraViolet is an online community of over 550,000 women and men who want to take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media. Find out more at WeAreUltraViolet.org

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