Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congressman Garamendi Joins Bipartisan Call for Sports Leagues to Strengthen Domestic Violence Prevention Policies

September 30, 2014
Press Release

With October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, He Also Calls for All Americans to Recommit to Stopping these Horrific Crimes

WALNUT GROVE, CA – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), announced that he has signed bipartisan letters to the major U.S. sports leagues to review and strengthen their policies regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. The letters note that “recent allegations of professional athletes committing these heinous crimes have resulted in an important national dialogue about violence against women and children in America.” The signatories urge them “in the strongest possible terms to use their profound platform to move our society toward a future where violence against women and children is not acceptable.”

“Our sports leagues have a megaphone that reaches millions of fans and broadcasts to every corner of America. They can loudly and definitively proclaim that domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse are unacceptable. With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we must all recommit ourselves to preventing violence on college campuses, in the military, and in all facets of our society,” said Congressman Garamendi. “I was proud to support reauthorization of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act. This law has helped significantly reduce domestic violence. However, the problem is still far too prevalent, and we must do more.”

Between 1994, when the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law, and 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence decreased by 64 percent. However, one in four American women and one in seven men are victims of domestic violence. Click here for more information on VAWA and statistics from The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women.

Authored by Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), the domestic violence letter was sent to the “Big 5” sports leagues: the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, and Major League Soccer.

Text of all the letters are included below:

September XX, 2014
 
Mr. Roger Goodell
Commissioner
National Football League
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154
 
Dear Commissioner Goodell
 
As Members of Congress committed to advocating for victims and survivors of crime, we call on the National Football League (NFL) to take a strong stand to prevent and respond effectively to domestic violence, sexual assault,  child abuse, and all violent crimes.
 
As you know, recent allegations of professional athletes committing these heinous crimes have resulted in an important national dialogue about violence against women and children in America. The truth of the matter is that domestic violence, sexual assault, and abuse are daily, painful realities for many women and children across our nation. When these vicious crimes are not properly addressed and when offenders are not held accountable, the cycles of violence continue, victims remain in constant jeopardy and fear, and the very lives of women and children are at stake.
 
We urge you in the strongest possible terms to use your profound platform to move our society toward a future where violence against women and children is not acceptable.  This begins by conducting a full review of the NFL’s policies regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. During such a review, we urge you to meet with crime victims and survivors, experts in the field of victims’ rights, and victim advocates, who are eager to assist you.  By ensuring that the NFL’s policies and practices take the strongest possible stand against these crimes, everyone in America will understand that no one who commits violence against women and children can get away with it. 
 
The late Coach Vince Lombardi said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”  When the NFL’s leadership, management and players join together to combat violence against women and children in America, the ultimate achievement will be a nation where it is simply no longer tolerated. 
 
Sincerely,
 
  
Allan H. (Bud) Selig
Commissioner
Major League Baseball
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
 
Dear Commissioner Selig:
 
As Members of Congress committed to advocating for victims and survivors of crime, we call on Major League Baseball (MLB) to take a strong stand to prevent and respond effectively to domestic violence, sexual assault,  child abuse, and all violent crimes.
 
As you know, recent allegations of professional athletes committing these heinous crimes have resulted in an important national dialogue about violence against women and children in America. The truth of the matter is that domestic violence, sexual assault, and abuse are daily, painful realities for many women and children across our nation. When these vicious crimes are not properly addressed and when offenders are not held accountable, the cycles of violence continue, victims remain in constant jeopardy and fear, and the very lives of women and children are at stake.
 
We urge you in the strongest possible terms to use your profound platform to move our society toward a future where violence against women and children is not acceptable.  This begins by conducting a full review of MLB’s policies regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. During such a review, we urge you to meet with crime victims and survivors, experts in the field of victims’ rights, and victim advocates, who are eager to assist you.  By ensuring that MLB’s policies and practices take the strongest possible stand against these crimes, everyone in America will understand that no one who commits violence against women and children can get away with it. 
 
The late Coach Vince Lombardi said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”  When MLB’s leadership, management and players join together to combat violence against women and children in America, the ultimate achievement will be a nation where it is simply no longer tolerated. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Gary Bettman
Commissioner
National Hockey League
1185 Avenue of the Americas 
New York, NY 10036
 
Dear Commissioner Bettman: 
 
As Members of Congress committed to advocating for victims and survivors of crime, we call on the National Hockey League (NHL) to take a strong stand to prevent and respond effectively to domestic violence, sexual assault,  child abuse, and all violent crimes.
 
As you know, recent allegations of professional athletes committing these heinous crimes have resulted in an important national dialogue about violence against women and children in America. The truth of the matter is that domestic violence, sexual assault, and abuse are daily, painful realities for many women and children across our nation. When these vicious crimes are not properly addressed and when offenders are not held accountable, the cycles of violence continue, victims remain in constant jeopardy and fear, and the very lives of women and children are at stake.
 
We urge you in the strongest possible terms to use your profound platform to move our society toward a future where violence against women and children is not acceptable.  This begins by conducting a full review of the NHL’s policies regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. During such a review, we urge you to meet with crime victims and survivors, experts in the field of victims’ rights, and victim advocates, who are eager to assist you.  By ensuring that the NHL’s policies and practices take the strongest possible stand against these crimes, everyone in America will understand that no one who commits violence against women and children can get away with it. 
 
The late Coach Vince Lombardi said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”  When the NHL’s leadership, management and players join together to combat violence against women and children in America, the ultimate achievement will be a nation where it is simply no longer tolerated. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
 
Adam Silver
Commissioner
National Basketball Association
645 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10022
 
Dear Commissioner Silver:
 
As Members of Congress committed to advocating for victims and survivors of crime, we call on the National Basketball Association (NBA) to take a strong stand to prevent and respond effectively to domestic violence, sexual assault,  child abuse, and all violent crimes.
 
As you know, recent allegations of professional athletes committing these heinous crimes have resulted in an important national dialogue about violence against women and children in America. The truth of the matter is that domestic violence, sexual assault, and abuse are daily, painful realities for many women and children across our nation. When these vicious crimes are not properly addressed and when offenders are not held accountable, the cycles of violence continue, victims remain in constant jeopardy and fear, and the very lives of women and children are at stake.
 
We urge you in the strongest possible terms to use your profound platform to move our society toward a future where violence against women and children is not acceptable.  This begins by conducting a full review of the NBA’s policies regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. During such a review, we urge you to meet with crime victims and survivors, experts in the field of victims’ rights, and victim advocates, who are eager to assist you.  By ensuring that the NBA’s policies and practices take the strongest possible stand against these crimes, everyone in America will understand that no one who commits violence against women and children can get away with it. 
 
The late Coach Vince Lombardi said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”  When the NBA’s leadership, management and players join together to combat violence against women and children in America, the ultimate achievement will be a nation where it is simply no longer tolerated. 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Don Garber
Commissioner
Major League Soccer
420 Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10018
 
Dear Commissioner Garber:
 
As Members of Congress committed to advocating for victims and survivors of crime, we call on Major League Soccer (MLS) to take a strong stand to prevent and respond effectively to domestic violence, sexual assault,  child abuse, and all violent crimes.
 
As you know, recent allegations of professional athletes committing these heinous crimes have resulted in an important national dialogue about violence against women and children in America. The truth of the matter is that domestic violence, sexual assault, and abuse are daily, painful realities for many women and children across our nation. When these vicious crimes are not properly addressed and when offenders are not held accountable, the cycles of violence continue, victims remain in constant jeopardy and fear, and the very lives of women and children are at stake.
 
We urge you in the strongest possible terms to use your profound platform to move our society toward a future where violence against women and children is not acceptable.  This begins by conducting a full review of MLS’s policies regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. During such a review, we urge you to meet with crime victims and survivors, experts in the field of victims’ rights, and victim advocates, who are eager to assist you.  By ensuring that MLS’s policies and practices take the strongest possible stand against these crimes, everyone in America will understand that no one who commits violence against women and children can get away with it. 
 
The late Coach Vince Lombardi said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”  When MLS’s leadership, management and players join together to combat violence against women and children in America, the ultimate achievement will be a nation where it is simply no longer tolerated. 
 
Sincerely,