While speaking Tuesday in front of a U.S. Senate committee, Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, broke down while talking about his own childhood experiences witnessing domestic violence firsthand in his home.
NFL VP Troy Vincent choked up at a Senate hearing on domestic violence while discussing his own experience: http://t.co/DHrtfOfGgo
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 3, 2014
The former NFL player of 15 years tearfully recalled his past:
Domestic violence was a way of life in my home growing up. As young boys, my brother and I watched helplessly numerous times as our mother was beaten, and we called 911 while she lay unconscious.
We saw how she struggled to seek help, and find the voice and courage to say “no more.” The sense of fear, powerlessness, and all the complexities that accompany this violence remain very real for me today.
I have worked for over 20 years as an advocate against domestic violence to try to help keep others from experiencing this pain. So I very much relate to the more than 12 million victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in every community in this nation, amongst every economic class and racial and ethnic group.
This is not an issue limited to the NFL, or to professional sports.
Vincent went on to outline the league's intent to change their handling of domestic violence and sexual assault cases with the following:
The NFL intends to create a “Conduct Committee of Owners” who will be responsible for regularly reviewing and recommending changes to the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.
The league is creating a “comprehensive and mandatory education program for the more than 5,000 men and women in the NFL family.”
The NFL already has a Critical Response Team that Vincent said offers support for “anyone in the NFL family.” The team, though, will be retrained to handle issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The NFL is also “supporting” organizations that focus on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, although Vincent did not explicitly say if that support is financial.
The league is also promoting programs that “develop the character of young people” in an attempt to help educate coaches and players at the college, high school, and youth level.
Here's the full statement: