U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer Writes New NFL Exec on “Glaring Omissions”

On the heels of U.S. senators writing the NFL commissioner  a letter asking him to adopt a "real zero tolerance policy" for domestic violence, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer penned another piece on Monday - this time to the newly named female senior vice president of Public Policy and Government Affairs for the football league.

Specifically, Boxer (D-California), expressed to Cynthia Hogan that she found Commissioner Roger Goodell had two "glaring omissions" in his much-criticized news conference on Friday - the first time he publicly addressed the host of domestic violence arrests that NFL players have been charged with recently. While Goodell admitted he "got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter," many still blasted Goodell after the conference citing his lack of substance and emotion, and haven't let up on their social media campaign to oust Goodell, using the hashtag #GoodellMustGo.

Those omissions, according to Boxer, were that Goodell never mentioned the NFL would have a "zero tolerance" policy for violence against women, and the fact that many never report violence to law enforcement, which must be taken into account.

Kathleen Krenek, executive director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence in San Jose, was skeptical of Hogan's role. She acknowledged she was "cynical" and thought Hogan might just be a "token" because she is a woman. "I think she's there with the title to smooth out the public," she told NBC Bay Area on Monday.

Boxer's  letter follows a similar letter Boxer and 15 other female senate colleagues wrote on Sept. 11, calling on Goodell to institute a real zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence.

Boxer made mention of the fact that she and Hogan, once the chief counsel at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and counsel to Vice President Joe Biden, both worked on the Violence Against Women Act.

In a piece Hogan penned for Politico, she said she took the NFL post on Sept. 16 to "educate others, and reduce future violence.... The NFL can be a powerful voice for progress and has committed itself to that goal. I want to be part of that effort."

Read Boxer's  full letter:

September 22, 2014
Ms. Cynthia C. Hogan
Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs
National Football League
1201 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Suite 645
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Cynthia:
I well remember the days when we worked together on the first Violence Against Women Act and I know how hard you have worked throughout your entire career to combat domestic violence. I was heartened to hear that you will be starting your job with the National Football League today and that you will be there to help the NFL change its domestic violence policies. You arrive at this job at a pivotal moment in history, and have the chance to make lasting and lifesaving changes in the days and months ahead.

As you well know, more than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

I listened with great interest to Mr. Goodell's press conference and was concerned about two glaring omissions that I wanted to write to you about today.

First, I never heard Mr. Goodell mention "zero tolerance" for violence against women. Last week, 16 women in the United States Senate wrote to Mr. Goodell and asked that he institute a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence in the NFL.
Mr. Goodell talked about a process to change the NFL's policies regarding domestic violence, but he never mentioned zero tolerance as a goal or guiding principle. You need to have zero tolerance as a stated goal in order to have policies that achieve it.

Second, Mr. Goodell referred often to the role of law enforcement and our overall judicial system. However, as you know, most of these incidents are never reported to law enforcement. It is therefore imperative that the NFL make a real commitment to prevent domestic violence in its ranks, encourage victims to come forward, and punish all those responsible, regardless of the level of involvement by law enforcement officials.

I look forward to hearing back from you and to working together again to combat violence against women in the NFL and throughout our society.
Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

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