NFL considers tougher penalties for domestic abuse cases, report says

Criticism of the way NFL handled Ray Rice incident may lead to changes in league's policy, report says

In the wake of the Ray Rice suspension -- and the overwhelming public opinion that it was too lenient -- the NFL is considering much stricter penalties for its players involved in domestic abuse incidents, the Washington Post is reporting.

A first-time offender could end up being suspended from four to six games without pay, while a second-time offender might face a season-long suspension, according to the Post's unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.

Rice, a star running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was suspended two games last month for allegedly hitting his now-wife Janay Palmer. 

A public outcry followed that the league does not come down hard enough in domestic abuse cases, especially when compared with penalties for lesser offenses. Rice's new Ravens teammate Will Hill will miss the first six games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy for the third time (he most recently tested positive for marijuana).

In defending the decision, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pointed to the fact that Rice had never been in trouble before and that his punishment was consistent with prior cases.

A petition on calling for consistent punishment guidelines for players who commit violence against women has gotten more than 67,700 signatures.

A new policy like the one the league is said to be discussing would help clear up the confusion and also send a stronger message against domestic violence.

Twitter: @chewkiii

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