The National Football League’s decision to place harsher punishments on athletes involved in incidences of domestic or sexual assault Elite Mens C.J.Mosley jersey is not surprising, considering the recent scrutiny it had received, Elite Womens Barry Sanders jersey but is significant, and puts the pressure on other leagues to follow suit.

[READ: NFL Increases Penalties for Domestic Violence]

NFL Commissioner Authenitc Blue Dan Orlovsky jersey Roger Goodell Elite Youth Barry Sanders jersey announced in a letter to team owners released Thursday the league will be taking a number of steps to prevent and punish violent misconduct Elite George Johnson jersey particularly domestic and sexual assault among its athletes, including a six game minimum suspension for the first violation, and a lifetime banishment from the league on the second (with possibility for reinstatement after a year).

“They are being much stronger about their potential penalties than what we have historically seen,” says Matthew Parlow, a sports law professor at Marquette University Law school who has studied the penalties major sports leagues handed out to players for off the field misbehavior. “The pressure has been building, and it sends a strong message that is consistent with the fan base that domestic violence is not OK.”

That pressure Elite Womens Dan Orlovsky jersey came to a head when a video surfaced of Baltimore Ravens Authenitc George Johnson jersey player Ray Rice dragging his apparently unconscious fiancee out of an elevator, fueling a media firestorm Authenitc White Barry Sanders jersey when Rice initially received just a two game suspension. The scrutiny following the decision, which Goodell previously defended, likely prompted the NFL to Authenitc Mens Deandre Levy jersey take the lead on cracking down on domestic assault, Parlow says.

“Had it happened in another league, maybe that league would have done something,” he says.

Nevertheless, the move is being praised by sports analysts and advocates for domestic abuse victims alike. It also puts the pressure on other leagues to toughen their punishments for violent crimes off the field.

Out of the other big three American professional sports leagues, only the NBA has a standard punishment for violent behavior Authenitc Kids C.J.Mosley jersey on the books: Authenitc Mens George Johnson jersey a minimum 10 game suspension for the first felony conviction, with broad powers given to the commissioner to enact an even tougher punishment. The MLB does not have any set standards or punishments for violent lawbreaking behavior, treating each instance based on its circumstances. Authenitc White Authenitc Dan Orlovsky jersey Deandre Levy jersey News’ request for comment too, reportedly, deals with such episodes Elite Mens C.J.Mosley jersey on a case Kids Dan Orlovsky jersey by case basis. Both leagues have Elite Mens Deandre Levy jersey come under fire for what critics say is a failure to punish players charged with domestic abuse or sexual assault.

Exacerbating the frustration with professional sport’s treatment of domestic assault was how it compared to its punishments for other episodes of misconduct, particularly drug use. Not long after Ray Rice’s two game suspension was announced, Cleveland Browns player Josh Gordon was taken off the field for the entire 2014 2015 for testing positive for marijuana use, as it was his third violation in the league’s three strikes rule. Other leagues, also have set punishments for substance abuse be it performance enhancing (a 50 game suspension for the first violation in the MLB) or recreational (fines Youth Haloti Ngata jersey and suspensions for multiple violations in the NBA).

[OPINION: NFL's Ray Rice Two Youth Deandre Levy jersey Game Suspension Is Pathetic Punishment]

Policies concerning drug use have traditionally been strict as it directly affects an athlete’s performance on the field, says Lee Igel, Authenitc Youth Barry Sanders jersey co director of New York University’s Sports and Society Program. The language outlining misconduct not related specifically to the sport “was really sort of an afterthought it was in there because it had to be in there,” he says.

However, with technology and social media bringing Elite Womens C.J.Mosley jersey such offenses to the forefront, they can no longer go on ignored or lightly punished.

“These things may go on off the field, but they affect the business of the NFL,” Igel says.

The Ray Rice scandal was felt acutely by the league as it has been trying to capitalize on its female fan base. It is also reflective of the growing seriousness Americans take sports role in shaping public opinions, as it has become a proxy to discuss everything from LGBT rights to international politics.

“For a long time it’s been a part of the toy department, if you will. ‘The sports stuff leave it for a package at the end of the news,’” Igel says. “That’s not the case anymore. It’s often the headline. Sports is often the way we understand the rest of society.”

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