Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) proposed in a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week that the league address its domestic violence problems with the nation’s governors.
According to the Portland Press Herald, LePage offered to assemble a coalition of governors who could work on domestic violence issues with team owners gathered by Goodell.
“The National Football League has an opportunity to take a high-profile stand against domestic violence by making it a national priority,” LePage wrote in the letter, sent to Goodell and all of the nation's governors. “Together, we can create an influential partnership to provide a truly exceptional service to American society. Men must step up to end domestic violence, and NFL players are prominent role models who can turn the national spotlight on this reprehensible crime.”
The letter was LePage's second to Goodell regarding the league’s handling of domestic violence. In August, he wrote to Goodell saying that it was "unconscionable" to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games after footage of him dragging his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator was released.
“As I wrote to you previously, I have a zero-tolerance position on domestic violence,” LePage wrote. “I grew up in a cycle of domestic violence, and I know how it tears apart families and communities.”
A LePage spokesperson told the Portland Press Herald that the governor had not yet heard back from fellow governors. An NFL spokesperson told the paper that the league was willing to meet with LePage and other governors to address the issue.
LePage isn’t the only politician who has weighed in on the NFL's handling of domestic violence. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) said last week that the Minnesota Vikings should suspend running back Adrian Peterson after he allegedly beat his son, and the team eventually did so. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has proposed revoking the NFL’s tax-exempt status and allocating revenue the government would earn from taxing the league to domestic violence programs.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.