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Joint statement from Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet and Becky Bond, political director for CREDO, on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s outrageous defense of Ray Rice’s two-game suspension for domestic violence:

“Commissioner Goodell’s defense of player Ray Rice’s two game suspension is outrageous, offensive and flat out factually inaccurate.

Goodell’s claim that the NFL had to be “consistent” in its punishment of Ray Rice proves that he’s willing to let the NFL be consistently terrible when it comes to handling domestic violence cases. It’s completely within Goodell’s discretion to take the right action to implement appropriate guidelines for players who commit violence against women. Roger Goodell and the NFL need to stop making excuses for their offensive and out-of-touch policies for dealing with violence against women and finally address the problem.

While Commissioner Goodell claimed that Rice was not disciplined by the criminal justice system – that’s false. Rice was charged with third-degree assault and only avoided trial by pleading guilty and entering an intervention program. The criminal justice system was intimately involved, and Rice’s guilt was clear.

It is offensive to claim consistency when more severe punishments have been doled out for performance-enhancing drugs, violating NFL draft rules or using Adderall or marijuana.

Plain and simple, while Goodell claims that the NFL takes domestic violence seriously, the statements from the Commissioner today demonstrate that the National Football League is still not taking domestic violence seriously.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2014/08/01/roger-goodell-ray-rice-suspension-baltimore-ravens/13468921/

Earlier today, CREDO and UltraViolet, two national advocacy groups working to protect women’s rights, urged 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:
http://act.credoaction.com/sign/NFL_women

Read UltraViolet’s petition here:
http://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/NFL_domestic_violence/

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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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