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NFL To Hold Educational Session On Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault For Draft Prospects

NFL To Hold Educational Session On Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault For Draft Prospects

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Kraft (l) said media coverage helped raise domestic violence awareness
The NFL "will hold an educational session on domestic violence and sexual assault for all prospective players at this year's draft and will expand background checks on players with violence issues in their past," according to Christine Brennan of USA TODAY. NFL VP/Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson said, "Unlike in past years, particular emphasis will be on players with issues of violence in their backgrounds. If a player is flagged, he will have an additional check performed and then if warranted, an evaluation will be offered and when needed, counseling recommended." She added that all prospects who attend the draft in Chicago "must participate in an hour-long domestic violence/sexual assault education session, the same program every NFL team and player went through last season." Isaacson: "This is the first time we are mandating this at the draft." She said that players will also "participate in community visits in Chicago that are linked to causes the league supports" in addition to a "mentoring luncheon pairing draft prospects with former NFL players." A similar session "occurred at last month's scouting combine in Indianapolis." Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, who chairs the league's new personal-conduct committee, said, "For us, the messaging can't start soon enough. When we look at the draft, the draft is the first place where we can really be talking to these players" (USA TODAY, 3/9). The N.Y. POST notes Patriots Owner Robert Kraft on Friday in N.Y. "discussed the NFL and domestic violence while being honored by the UN Women for Peace Association." Kraft: "Last year, the actions of a few NFL players proved to be the catalyst for the national attention the topic of domestic violence received. ... But, the media coverage and national discussion helped raise awareness to an ongoing and insidious societal crisis." He added, "We need to continue educating men and encouraging men to take action to stop this global epidemic" (N.Y. POST, 3/9).

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