NBA to review policies in wake of NFL woes
NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
In this April 29, 2014, file photo, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addresses a news conference in New York. Silver says his league will "take a fresh look" at its domestic violence procedures following the rash of cases in the NFL. AP PhotoNBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Monday the league will review its policies on domestic violence, trying to head off the kind of crisis now facing the NFL.
Silver, attending an event on Staten Island to announce a youth outreach program linked to the 2015 All Star Game at Madison Square Garden, said that the NBA learns "from other league's experiences".
He said the NBA was studying what had been happening in the NFL and was working with the NBA Players Association and taking "a fresh look at everything we do."
The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell are facing a public relations nightmare over the handling of a spate of high-profile cases of off-field violence -- starting with an initial two-game suspension of Ravens running back Ray Rice after he knocked his future wife unconscious in a casino elevator in February.
Video of the actual punch Rice delivered to knock Janay Palmer out surfaced in August, creating a firestorm that prompted the Ravens to sack him and Goodell to ban him indefinitely from the league.
Nevertheless, questions remain as to why the team and the league appeared to take the matter lightly to begin with, and further cases have fueled unease.
Silver said the NBA has already been discussing measures with the union on how to educate players and provide programs for them and their families to combat domestic violence.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, a player convicted of a first violent felony receives a minimum 10-game suspension.
But Silver said punishment isn't the only answer.
"We have to take these programs directly to the players' spouses, directly to their partners so that they're aware of places they can go to express concerns, whether they're anonymous hotlines, team executives, league executives," he said. "It's a societal problem. It's not one that's unique to sports."
Silver's stock is high after he shepherded the league through the Donald Sterling scandal, quickly banning the former Los Angeles Clippers owner for life from the NBA over racially charged remarks and eventually presiding over the sale of the club for $2 billion to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.