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The National Organization for Women has joined the chorus of those calling for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to resign in the wake of the emergence of a shocking video in which former Ravens running back Ray Rice is shown abusing his then-fiancee.
But NOW president Terry O’Neill says the issue goes beyond Rice to include other players arrested for and accused of domestic violence and sex offenses.
“The NFL has lost its way. It doesn’t have a Ray Rice problem; it has a violence against women problem,” O’Neill said in a statement.
She then cited stats from FiveThirtyEight.com that the arrest rate of NFL players is 55 percent higher than the national average for men ages 25-29 for domestic violence and 38 percent higher for sex offenses, and she mentions other players who’ve been charged with and convicted of domestic violence.
Furthermore, she points out that Goodell has remained silent on accusations that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sexually assaulted a woman. O’Neill calls for Goodell to resign and for his successor to investigate and make reforms on these issues.
“The NFL sets the example for college, high school, middle school and even elementary school football programs. And the example it is setting right now is simply unacceptable,” O’Neill says. “New leadership must come in with a specific charge to transform the culture of violence against women that pervades the NFL.”
In an interview with CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell, Goodell said he doesn’t fear for his job and is used to being criticized. He also said he wouldn’t rule out Rice returning to the NFL.
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