by: Blair Miller Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The National Football League is taking a tough, new stance on domestic violence cases after the league sent letters to all 32 team owners Thursday, saying players will face harsher penalties.
Channel 9 spoke with a Charlotte man who helped write the new policy.
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The new penalties laid out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are tough and clear. In a letter sent to every team, he outlined that players accused of domestic violence would face a six game unpaid ban for the first offense.
A second incident would mean a player would be punished with a lifetime ban from the league.
“The NFL is actually taking leadership,” said Tony Porter.
Porter met with the league commissioner to help craft the new policy. He works with "A Call to Men" -- a national violence prevention group.
Porter has worked with NFL teams for 10 years, trying to educate players about domestic violence prevention. He said with the league's new penalties it's setting an example.
“For them to take such a hard, fast -- in today's society -- bold reaction to domestic violence, it can have major, major impact and influence on all of us,” Porter said.
It's not clear how the new policy will impact Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who was convicted in July of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
He appealed for a jury trial which is set for November.
The commissioner's letter doesn't state how the league will handle pending cases. Regardless, Porter said moving forward, players will clearly know the rules.
“The NFL is willing to get out front and take a serious stance,” he said.
Earlier this year, former Panther Steve Smith talked to Channel 9 about his mother's struggles with abusive relationships. Smith and his wife, Angie, created the “Steve Smith Family Foundation” and pledged to support women and children impacted by domestic violence.