Commissioner Goodell: Do Not Fail Women and Children

June 25, 2014

NFL Football

YWCA Greater Cleveland President and CEO Margaret Mitchell expresses utter disappointment in the two-game suspension against NFL player Ray Rice.

Mr. Roger S. Goodell
Commissioner
National Football League
Corporate Office & Headquarters
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Dear Commissioner,

On behalf of YWCA Greater Cleveland, I want to express my utter disappointment in the two-game suspension against Ray Rice at the start of the 2014 season for the alleged, but caught-on-tape act of partner violence. Not only did this sanction not go far enough in taking a firm stand and making a bold statement about against violence against women, but it seemed to once again condone player violence.

It’s hard to comprehend what dollar amount, or what the exact number of game-day suspensions are sufficient to sanction a professional athlete who knocked his woman unconscious with a closed fisted blow to the head, but you should start with your largest and most aggressive drug use violations and double – no, triple – the suspension severity.

Commissioner, with a stronger sanction you have an opportunity to set a courageous precedent in the League and let all of America know your commitment to Women. Your office – and the League – is a perfect platform to do the right thing and not fail women and children.

Sincerely,

Margaret Mitchell
President and CEO, YWCA Greater Cleveland

In contrast, below is a letter that Margaret sent to NBA commissioner Adam Silver in May, 2014:

May 2, 2014

Mr. Adam Silver
Commissioner
National Basketball Association
Corporate Office & Headquarters
645 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Dear Commissioner,

On behalf of the YWCA Greater Cleveland I want to congratulate you on your courage in modeling the behavior that mirrors a portion of our national mission – eliminating racism. Your decision to not only sanction but also band Donald Sterling from owning, attending or participating in an Association represented by a majority of men of African descent, speaks to your leadership and desire to do what is most appropriate and required in the 21st century.

Your leadership will be remembered as a guide to others in your position and similar situations to make decisions that are not always popular, but will serve the greater good. Thank you for your clear direction. You have made a difference.

Sincerely,

Margaret Mitchell

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