NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday apologized for his decision in the Ray Rice domestic abuse case in a letter to NFL owners and announced sweeping changes to the league's Personal Conduct Policy.
In the detailed letter, Goodell announced that violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force "will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense." A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL for at least one year. An individual can petition for reinstatement after one year, but "there will be no presumption or assurance that the petition will be granted."
The policy applies to all personnel, not just players.
In the open of his letter, Goodell admitted he fell short in prior situations of domestic violence.
"At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals," Goodell wrote. "We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence. We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place. My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will."