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Include Black Women Domestic Violence Experts on NFL Domestic Violence Advisory Board

This petition had 6,051 supporters

On September 16, 2014, the Black Women’s Roundtable, an intergenerational network of women leaders representing Black women and girls from across the country, requested an emergency meeting with Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL) in order to share our deep concern and outrage about the plethora of domestic violence cases involving current and past players that are a part of the NFL.  In this letter, we indicated that we would like to discuss the make-up of the recently announced Domestic Violence Advisory Board and other diversity issues.

While we appreciate the fact that the NFL has reached out to advisors in order to assist in the “development and implementation of the league’s policies, resources and outreach on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault,” we remain concerned about the continued exclusion of women of color, and especially Black women, who are disproportionately impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault.

In a League that is over two–thirds African American, addressing this issue in a culturally sensitive and unbiased manner is an absolute necessity and therefore requires the inclusion of external Black women with demonstrated experience in culturally specific services addressing domestic violence and sexual assault within the Black community.  As such, the current make-up of the NFL’s Advisory Board remains unacceptable.

 We believe having internal African American NFL staff, rather than trained domestic violence and sexual assualt experts on the Advisory Board is unfortunate and totally misses the mark. Further, we believe internal staff should not be asked to self-police the NFL. 

Therefore, we, the undersigned, urge Commissioner Roger Goodell to get it right by immediately including Black women as external experts on the NFL’s Domestic Violence Advisory Board.  Additionally, the NFL must include domestic and sexual violence organizations rooted in and reflective of the Black community among the NFL's organizational advisors.

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