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The NFL just announced harsher punishments for domestic violence

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Today, the NFL reportedly announced a significant change to its policy for dealing with players who have committed domestic violence.

According to ESPN's Jane McManus, an initial violation will result in a six-game suspension, and a second offense will lead to a lifetime ban. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the change in a letter to owners.

This shift comes after the league endured heavy criticism for suspending Ravens running back Ray Rice a mere two games after surveillance footage showed him knocking his then-girlfriend (now wife) Janay Palmer unconscious at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City.

ESPN's Adam Schefter has the full letter.

"My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families," Goodell wrote. "I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better."