HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's senior senator said he wants stronger consequences for NFL players who are involved in domestic violence.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he's calling on the league itself to hold those players accountable.

Blumenthal said if the NFL doesn't take action soon, he'll look to Congress to step in and that could hurt the league's bottom line.

Officials said since 2014, at least 27 NFL players have been accused of committing some form of violence or harassment against women.

And at least seven remain part of an NFL organization this season.

Blumenthal said if the NFL fails to take effective action, he will try to end their permanent antitrust exemption, which has provided financial support and benefits to the league since 1961.

Years ago, the NFL promised new accountability measures following domestic violence. It said independent investigations, stronger discipline and counseling would come for players involved.

Recently, Kansas City Chiefs player Kareem Hunt was under fire after a video was released of him allegedly attacking a woman outside of a hotel.

"We are talking about his apology? We should be talking about arraignment and we should be talking about pleas and we should be talking about time served," said Mary Jane Foster, Interval House. 

Linebacker Reuben Foster was recently released by the San Francisco 49ers following a domestic violence arrest. However, he was picked up by the Washington Redskins.

People advocating for victims of domestic violence say the NFL dropped the ball four years ago.

"By an individual speaking out and having an entity like the NFL do nothing, that is crushing to that individual and so many other victims who are looking to the NFL to set an example," said Jillian Gilchrest, Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

Blumenthal wrote a letter to the commissioner of the league demanding answers and accountability. 

"Players are role models to countless Americans, many of them young, learning for the first time what respect means," said Blumenthal. 

Blumenthal plans to reintroduce a sports act that would hold teams accountable financially if they fail to take action. He's also calling for the NFL to establish an independent body to investigate allegations. 

Interval House is Connecticut's largest domestic violence agency. 

It reports every 9 seconds, a woman is assaulted in the United States. There are 1,500 domestic violence murders every year and on average 14 homicides by an intimate partner in Connecticut. 

"I don't know how many more years we have to get through this before we are going to believe a victim when she comes forward when we are going to validate her experience," said Foster. 

Channel 3 reached out to the NFL on Friday, but they have not responded. 

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Producer

(1) comment


I actually agree with him. However, what about the consequences for lying about being a Vietnam war hero just to get elected. I'm thing Federal Prison time and the return of all salary paid. What do you have to say about that Richard?

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