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Sports

NFL increases penalties for domestic violence

FILE - In this May 23, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, right, speaks alongside his wife, Janay, during a news conference, Friday, May 23, in Owings Mills, Md. Riceís two-game suspension for domestic violence begins Saturday, a punishment handed down after grainy video showed him dragging his then-fiancee off a casino elevator unconscious Feb. 15. He has not divulged what happened in the elevator except to call his actions "totally inexcusable'' at a news conference after his suspension was announced. His assault charges could be expunged once he completes a diversion program. So the NFL gave him the only punishment he likely faces in a suspension and a fine that totals more than $500,000. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE - In this May 23, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, right, speaks alongside his wife, Janay, during a news conference, Friday, May 23, in Owings Mills, Md. Riceís two-game suspension for domestic violence begins Saturday, a punishment handed down after grainy video showed him dragging his then-fiancee off a casino elevator unconscious Feb. 15. He has not divulged what happened in the elevator except to call his actions "totally inexcusable'' at a news conference after his suspension was announced. His assault charges could be expunged once he completes a diversion program. So the NFL gave him the only punishment he likely faces in a suspension and a fine that totals more than $500,000. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

NEW YORK – NFL players will be subject to a six-week suspension for a first domestic violence offense and banishment from the league for a second under a new policy outlined by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

In a letter and memo sent to all 32 teams owners Thursday, and obtained by The Associated Press, Goodell says he "didn't get it right" in giving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice a two-game suspension for allegedly hitting the woman who is now his wife.

He told teams to distribute to all players the memo in which he writes: "Domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They are never acceptable and have no place in the NFL under any circumstances."

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