NFL: Take Real Action on Domestic Violence
  • Petitioned Greg Aiello

This petition was delivered to:

Sr. VP of communications
Greg Aiello
Commissioner of the National Football League
Roger Goodell
VP of Corporate Communications
Brian McCarthy
VP of Football Communications
Michael Signora

NFL: Take Real Action on Domestic Violence

    1. Gretchen Tome
    2. Petition by

      Gretchen Tome

      Baltimore, United States

On December 1st, Kansas City Chiefs' linebacker, Jovan Belcher, killed Kasandra Perkins, the mother of their 3 month old daughter. He then drove to the Chiefs training facility and killed himself. While much of the media has talked about Belcher’s suicide, there has been little mainstream attention on the murder of Kasandra. And even less attention given to the true issue here: domestic violence.

There are 32 NFL teams in the league and 21 of those teams have players who have at some point in time faced domestic assault or sexual assault charges. Kansas City Chiefs' former running back, Larry Johnson, was arrested in October for choking his girlfriend. Miami Dolphins' receiver Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson was arrested in August for headbutting his wife. In March, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall was accused of punching a woman in the face outside of a nightclub.

The list is long. And something has to change.

These high profile cases give the NFL the opportunity to do more. In July, the NFL established LifeLine -- a program for players, coaches, team and staff in crisis. And Comissioner Roger Goodell started a “mental health initiative” for players, staff and coaches. But it remains unclear if these new programs have had impact. Under current rules, the NFL  has the ability to fine or suspend any player facing charges that relate to domestic assault.

1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Reports of domestic violence increase by 10% during the last hour of an NFL game, and continue for a couple of hours when an NFL team has lost a game it was expected to win; when a team loses to a rival team, reports increase by 17%. This isn’t just about the NFL, it’s about all of us.

I work with families in domestic violence situations as a child therapist at The House of Ruth Maryland, Inc. And I know first-hand that real healing can only begin with counseling and interventions that get to the core of the problem -- not with fines or suspensions.

That’s why I’m asking Roger Goodell to go further in his attempts to help his players, the league and the families affected by domestic violence in the NFL.

I urge Mr. Goodell to review the policy to include the ability to require players convicted of charges related to domestic violence to receive the appropriate counseling. I know that this type of counseling (often referred to as abuser interventions) is available throughout the country and that Mr. Goodell could make this change.

Recent signatures



    Dec 12, 2012

    RT - NFL -Take serious action against #domesticviolence Sign the petition #VAW

    Safe Alliance


    Dec 07, 2012

    Gretchen loves the @NFL. And she wants @nflcommish to take real action on domestic violence in the league: #DV

    Women Called Moses


    Dec 10, 2012

    We think so too! RT @changewomen: Gretchen thinks the @nfl has an opportunity to take real action on domestic violence.

    Sojourner Center


    Dec 07, 2012

    Take a stand against #domesticviolence. Sign the petition so the #NFL will change their policy on #DV & NFL players.



    Dec 06, 2012

    RT (please) Gretchen loves the @NFL and wants @nflcommish to take real action on domestic violence ->

    ➨ John Haydon

    Reasons for signing

    • Carol Edwards EVANSTON, IL
      • about 1 month ago

      It's about time that we come to terms with the consequences of training up 'killer instinct'. Whether it's sports or war, the result is the same: more out of control anger.

    • William Cerf BROOKLYN, NY
      • about 1 month ago

      The NFL is worth billions and takes up a lot of airtime as well as taypayer dollars. The least they can do is take real action to curb domestic violence by their players who also make millions of dollars per year.

    • Michelle Harris GALENA, IL
      • about 1 month ago

      I am a long time football fan and survivor of abuse from my first marriage. I want to see the NFL take AT LEAST as tough of a stance on domestic violence against women as they take on drug use or dog fighting.

      • 2 months ago

      Because the NFL is a billion dollar corporation and is in the spotlight in the United States and around the world. It is unbelievably harmful for such an organization to send the clear message that domestic violence and violence against women is forgivable or excusable.

    • Rosanne Quinnan VICTOR, NY
      • 2 months ago

      Because the NFL does not respect women and shows it time and time again. Rice/Boycott NFL


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