EAST HARTFORD – What’s the best way to get the Civic Football League to booty the affair of calm abandon added seriously?
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal apparent a angle Monday that he said was advised to do aloof that, by putting an end to “blank check” anti-trust exemptions for the NFL, and America’s three added above able sports leagues for basketball, baseball, and hockey. Under his proposed bill, able sports leagues would charge to re-apply for their anti-trust cachet every bristles years afterwards ability a Congressional review.
“The anti-trust absolution is analytical to their business model,” Blumenthal said during a columnist appointment Monday afternoon in advanced of Rentschler Field in East Hartford. He said able sports leagues in America acquire billions of dollars anniversary year acknowledgment to broadcasting affairs they are able to accommodate apart aback anti-trust exemptions went into aftereffect in 1961.
The leagues “are the beneficiaries of accessible trust, and a abundant accord of accessible funding, in the anatomy of tax breaks, antitrust exemptions, appropriate broadcasting rules, and subsidies for teams and stadiums,” Blumenthal said.
“These bare checks charge end. With these accessible investments charge appear accessible responsibility. These leagues charge be captivated answerable for their accessible administration on issues.”
The Democratic agent was decidedly analytical of the NFL, which he said has “literally fumbled the ball” with its acknowledgment to calm abandon amidst its players and employees. Aback 2000, Blumenthal said, 85 NFL players accept been answerable or cited for calm abandon incidents. None of those players were abeyant for best than one game, Blumenthal said, until beforehand this year aback Baltimore Ravens active aback Ray Rice was complex in a high-profile calm abandon adventure that has afflicted civic outrage.
Rice, who has aback been appear by the Ravens, was captured on video punching his then-fiancée in the face and animadversion her benumbed in the elevator of an Atlantic City bank in February.
After affair with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Rice was initially abeyant two amateur for the incident, but that abeyance was continued indefinitely by Goodell afterwards the complete video that shows the absolute bite was appear beforehand this ages by TMZ.
Goodell has aback adapted the NFL’s claimed conduct action to achieve tougher penalties for calm violence, and captivated a columnist appointment aftermost Friday alliance alike greater reform, but the league’s antecedent charity on Rice and several added aerial contour incidents of declared calm abandon by players has put it durably in the spotlight of a accessible firestorm in contempo weeks.
Blumenthal said his bill, which would accept to be accustomed by Congress afore it became law, would advance the NFL and added able sports leagues to achieve “real conduct and abuse on its players to avert calm violence” or face the accident of its anti-trust absolution cachet every bristles years.
“They should be appropriate to acquire that absolute anti-trust exemption,” Blumenthal said. “It should be renewable, not permanent.”
Blumenthal was aing in his efforts Monday by Dr. David Wang, administrator of the sports anesthetic administration at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Connecticut Child Advocate Sarah Eagan, Interval House Executive Administrator Cecile Enrico and Karen Gaston, a calm abandon survivor who now works with Interval House.
“The role that the NFL plays is absolutely important,” said Eagan. “Whether football players appetite to be role models or not, they are.”
Chris Murphy, Connecticut’s added Democratic senator, could not be accomplished for animadversion on the proposed bill Monday, but Blumenthal said that “most of my colleagues are abashed and disgusted” by the alternation of high-profile agitated incidents currently surrounding the NFL and that he accept his bill had a acceptable adventitious of casual if not this aldermanic affair than aing year.
“Support for the bill will accelerate a bulletin to the NFL, alike if it never passes,” Blumenthal said.
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