Congress to Pro Sports: Toughen Up the Rules

By:  The Austin American-Statesman - Justin Gray
Source: The Statesman

Congress is stepping into the debate about pro athletes and domestic violence.

Tuesday, the United States Senate called top leaders of pro sports leagues to Washington.
Lawmakers want to see league leaders put tougher and clearer domestic violence policies in place.
NFL star Ray Rice recently had his indefinite suspension overturned in the wake of his domestic violence case. His public apology to his wife making a fresh round of headlines, has become the most visible face of the problem of domestic abuse at the hands of pro athletes.
Now the U.S. Senate is stepping in. Top officials from the NFL, NBA, and MLB were all on Capitol Hill.
“It has to stop and that's what we're here for,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell says the Ray Rice incident shows the NFL’s policies for dealing with domestic violence aren't good enough.
“Well I think the NFL needs to have a zero tolerance policy and a consistent plan as to how that is implemented,” said Cantwell.
In emotional testimony, NFL executive Troy Vincent told the Senate panel his mother was a victim of domestic violence and promised the league is committed to do better.
“I relate to the 20 million victims, the survivors of domestic violence and abuse in every community across our great nation,” said Vincent.
Congress does have some influence here. The pro sports leagues have tax exempt status.
Sen. Corey Booker has introduced a bill that would eliminate that and use the money raised to fund domestic abuse programs