Steve Bisciotti’s press conference today is just another attempt at damage control, but it won’t work. The NFL’s violence against women problem can’t be “handled” or “managed” — it needs to be repaired. Going forward, the NFL and its teams need to stop treating this issue as a public relations problem and do the hard work, internal reforms and change in behavior that will restore the public’s confidence in what once was our most popular sport. Today Mr. Bisciotti tried, in a profoundly clumsy way, to pretend the ship is not sinking, when he should have been helping to set the NFL back on on the right course.
Despite the now glaring reality that the NFL has a violence against women problem, not once did Mr. Bisciotti express concern for victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. NOW continues to call for new NFL leadership committed to real change, for a top-to-bottom review by a genuinely independent investigator of the NFL’s response to violent incidents, and for a domestic violence policy that recognizes victim safety and economic security as a top priority, while holding abusers accountable for their actions.