NFL's Donation To National Domestic Violence Hotline Not Finalized: Report

It has been several weeks since Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a partnership between the NFL and the national Domestic Violence Hotline, but the financial terms of their relationship have yet to be finalized, according to a report. Katie Ray-Jones, the organization’s CEO, confirmed Tuesday that the sides are still locked in negotiations.

Ray-Jones told TMZ sports that both sides are focused on “modifying the language” of the proposed multimillion-dollar agreement, without elaborating on what that entails. However, she said that talks are “moving in good faith.”

In the face of public backlash, Goodell apologized on Sept. 19 for the NFL’s handling of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s domestic violence case and pledged to provide financial and operational support to the NDVH and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the Associated Press reported. “The same mistakes can never be repeated,” Goodell said at the time, adding that “nothing is off the table” in terms of the league’s renewed commitment to protecting domestic violence victims.

The NDVH’s call volume increased by 84 percent after the release of the elevator surveillance footage that revealed the extent of Rice’s February assault on his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, leaving the organization unable to respond to tens of thousands of phone calls, according to a press release. The NFL’s pledge to provide financial support led the group to hire an additional 20 employees to address the increased volume.

On Sept. 27, Goodell visited the NDVH’s national headquarters for what Ray-Jones described as an “emotional” meeting. “At one point, he was physically moved to tears as he heard stories from our advocates about what women were encountering, that we took today,” she said at the time, according to ESPN.

Goodell will meet with NFL players’ union chief DeMaurice Smith Tuesday to discuss possible changes to the league’s personal conduct policy, the AP notes. The two sides hope to have a new plan ready by the Super Bowl in February.

Elizabeth Wagmeister

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