Three experts in domestic violence will serve as consultants to the National Football League, the Associated Press reports. Commissioner Roger Goodell said Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith will work as “senior advisers.” They will “help lead and shape the NFL’s policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault,” he told teams. Goodell has been under heavy criticism for his handling of the domestic abuse case involving star running back Ray Rice. Rice was initially suspended for two games. Goodell at first defended the punishment, but more than a month later, he told owners he “didn’t get it right” and that first-time domestic violence offenders would face a six-game suspension going forward.
Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the league after video surfaced of the assault on his then-fiancee. Friel led the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney’s Office for more than a decade. Randel is co-founder of No More, a campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault. Smith is former director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Goodell said Anna Isaacson, NFL vice president of community affairs and philanthropy, will become its vice president of social responsibility. The National Organization for Women, which is calling for Goodell’s resignation, called the appointments of the senior advisers “a step in the right direction — but it’s not enough.” NOW said “the fact that Roger Goodell is assigning a current member of his leadership team to oversee new policies shows once again that he just doesn’t get it.”