The NFL issued on Thursday a new policy regarding domestic violence, which calls for a six-game suspension in the aftermath of a first offense and, possibly, a lifetime ban for a second offense.
The NFLPA has no comment at this time on the revised penalties.
The league informed the union that a new policy was coming. Because the domestic violence penalties are covered by the personal-conduct policy and because the league already has full discretion to impose penalties for off-field misbehavior, the NFL believes it has the latitude to revise the conduct policy.
The NFLPA apparently won’t be challenging that change as a general matter. It’s possible that arguments regarding the unilateral changes to the policy will be made within the context of specific incidents of player discipline. With the league retaining the power to resolve all appeals, however, it may not matter much.
And while it’s never popular to defend domestic abusers, a potential lifetime ban for a second offense could, in some cases, be a bit on the strong side. Especially for a league that saw fit to suspend Ray Rice only two games for knocking out his then-fiancée.