NFL hires domestic violence advisers

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Monday, September 15, 2014

NEW YORK -- The NFL says three experts in domestic violence will serve as senior advisers to the league.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to teams Monday announcing that Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith will "help lead and shape the NFL's policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault."

Friel was the head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney's Office for more than a decade. Randel is the co-founder of No More, a campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault. Smith is the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Goodell has been under heavy criticism for his handling of the domestic abuse case involving star running back Ray Rice.

Terry O'Neill, the president for the National Organization of Women (NOW), issued a statement that the NFL's hires are "a step in the right direction -- but it's not enough."

The commissioner announced that Anna Isaacson will be the league's vice president for social responsibility -- a new position -- in addition to her current roleas the league's vice president of community affairs and philanthropy.

The new role will oversee education, training and support programs relating to domestic violence, sexual assault and matters of respect.

"Anna has devoted considerable attention to these issues in recent years and has developed strong relationships with both outside organizations and your staffs," Goodell wrote. "...We will work closely with your community relations, human resources and player engagement teams to implement programs in a way that is effective and beneficial for your own employees, their families and your communities."

O'Neill said that NOW would continue to demand that Goodell resign.

"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," O'Neill wrote in the statement. "...Anything short of him taking full responsibility for what has happened on his watch will be seen for what it is -- just a way for him to quiet his critics and get back to business as usual."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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