© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WNPR News sports coverage brings you a mix of local and statewide news from our reporters as well as national and global news from around the world from NPR.

Blumenthal Calls for NFL to Impose Stricter Domestic Violence Penalties

Keith Allison
Creative Commons
Ray Rice at the Baltimore Ravens' training camp in 2009. The Ravens released him after new video emerged showing him assaulting his fiance in an elevator.

The National Football League's punishment for acts of domestic violence is too lenient, according to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. He responded to the new video showing former NFL player Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in an elevator.

Blumenthal said that even the new rules of a six-game suspension for first-time offenders is too lenient. Rice was only suspended for two games before his team released him on Monday. The NFL later suspended him indefinitely.

"My feeling is that these rules ought to be much stronger, stiffer, tougher, and they ought to be enforced more rigorously," Blumenthal said on CNN Tuesday. "The NFL is failing to set a good example for the American public."

He echoed similar sentiments on Twitter:

Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, acknowledges that Congress cannot change the culture of the league, but he did mention some areas where Washington could exert pressure.

"The NFL enjoys certain tax treatment, maybe there ought to be certain tax incentives for stronger penalties," he said. "The NFL has certain privileges in terms of communications. The federal communications laws may be used as an incentive."

Blumenthal told ESPN on Monday that there is a need for new reforms, and included Congress as a place where those reforms could come from.

Listen below to Blumenthal's comments:

The league does have significant representation on Capitol Hill, though. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, it has spent $7.32 million on lobbying since 2009.

Credit OpenSecrets.org
Graph from the Center for Responsive Politics shows how much the NFL has spent on lobbying.

Blumenthal has spoken out against the NFL on other issues too, including media blackouts and the name of the Washington, D.C. franchise.

Tucker Ives is WNPR's morning news producer.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content