Not that he’s asking, but here’s what I would like NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to do in response to the current domestic abuse scandal:
1. Call a meeting of owners, general managers, and head coaches with the sole purpose of crafting a code of professional conduct for players on and off the field. Whether they recognize it or not, whether they like it or not, these players are looked up to as leaders in the community, especially by young men. Like it or not, they should be held to a higher standard of behavior. Heaven knows they are paid enough to do so.
2. Upon return from said meeting, owners, general mangers. and coaches call team meetings to inform players of their expectations of behavior on and off the field.
3. Adopt disciplinary measures that are restorative rather than punitive, ie: mandatory counseling for players involved in domestic abuse cases, with close monitoring by the team and the courts. Commit to the discipline of the firm and consistent application of corrective measures. No exemptions for money making all stars.
4. Make domestic violence training a mandatory part of training camp so that players understand the cycle of violence and their role in either perpetrating or interrupting the cycle.
5. Be accountable to victims of domestic abuse. Listen to their stories. Do not blame them for the abuse they suffer. Protect them. Support them in their journey of healing. Be ready to write checks as needed. Therapy is expensive.
6. Pledge to take better care of NFL players: physically, emotionally, and spiritually—for the long term, even after they’ve been put out to pasture.
7. Call on the better angels of your owners, managers, coaches, and players that they may be leaders in bringing an end to the abuse of women and children in their most intimate relationships.