NEW YORK -- The NFL is immediately implementing a sweeping domestic violence initiative under its personal conduct policy that calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban from the league for a second offense.
The measures, announced in a letter from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to all team owners, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, apply to all NFL personnel.
A six-game suspension would be without pay and the length of the penalty could increase in these cases: an employee was involved in a prior incident before joining the NFL; violence involving a weapon; choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman; or in the presence of a child. A second-time offender may petition for reinstatement after one year but there is no assurance the petition would be granted, the letter said.
A league source told ESPN's Andrew Brandt that discipline would be triggered by adjudication of a player's case, such as a conviction or plea agreement. The policy is not retroactive, meaning all personnel have a clean slate, a league source told ESPN's Mark Dominik. If a player commits a crime while in college or high school and then has a first offense while in the NFL, the player could be subject to a suspension harsher than six games.
The measures come partly in response to intense criticism Goodell received for his handling of discipline for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who received a two-game suspension in July for assaulting his then-fiancee in February. Widely viewed as a soft punishment, Goodell left many with the impression that the NFL did not understand domestic violence or take it seriously as a crime.
Goodell acknowledged as much in the letter.
"At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals," Goodell wrote. "We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence. ... My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values.
"I didn't get it right."
To be counted as an "offense," a player would not necessarily have to be convicted in a court of law, but each incident will be judged on its own merits. The updated presonal conduct policy had the approval of all 32 owners, Dominik's source said.
"Our personal conduct policy has long made clear that domestic violence and sexual assault are unacceptable. We clearly must do a better job of addressing these incidents in the NFL. And we will," the commissioner wrote.
Goodell was affected more by people closer to him, including some owners, than by public reaction, the source told Brandt.
The source told Brandt that Goodell had discussions with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and that lawyers for the league and union also talked, although it was unclear if an agreement was reached between the two sides. 
The increased penalties for domestic violence did not have to be collectively bargained because they fall under the personal conduct policy.
The NFLPA reserved judgment in a statement released after the NFL's announcement.
"We were informed today of the NFL's decision to increase penalties on domestic violence offenders under the personal conduct policy for all NFL employees. As we do in all disciplinary matters, if we believe that players' due process rights are infringed upon during the course of discipline, we will assert and defend our members' rights," the union said.
The Ravens had no immediate comment on the new policy after it was announced Thursday.
The league also announced a number of outreach measures. It will bulk up the domestic violence portion of the rookie symposium, identify at-risk personnel and offer preventative counseling, and also offer families a phone number as an emergency resource.
The NFL will also take that message on the road.
"We will expand the educational components in our college, high school and youth football programs that address domestic violence and sexual assault," Goodell wrote to owners.
The NFL instructs owners to distribute a memo to all personnel that details these new expectations and begins: "Domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They are never acceptable and have no place in the NFL under any circumstances."
In February, Rice was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault after knocking out his then-fiancee in an elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Surveillance video showed Rice dragging Janay Palmer, who appeared unconscious, out of the elevator. Unreleased video showed Rice striking Palmer in the elevator.
In July, Goodell announced that Rice would be suspended for the first two games of the regular season. There was deep and sustained criticism from fans and groups who work with victims of domestic violence in response. The number of games was less than the suspensions given for most other infractions, such as substance abuse, steroid use or DUI offenses. The penalty for those items is determined by the collective bargaining agreement hammered out with the players' union in 2011.
Domestic violence infractions, however, fall under the personal conduct policy, which meant that Goodell alone was able to determine the severity of any fine or suspension. The fact the Ravens held a news conference with Rice in May and had Palmer sitting next to Rice on the dais also seemed to imply she shared responsibility -- whether or not that was the intention.
The fact Goodell reportedly allowed Rice's wife into the hearing to plead for leniency in front of her husband's employers struck many as inappropriate.
"Having done this work for many years, often a victim will say she doesn't want the abuser punished," said Judy Kluger, a former New York City judge and current executive director of Sanctuary for Families, after the decision was announced. "That shouldn't deter what an independent organization decides to do."

Texans cut nine players, place David Quessenberry on non-football injury list

The Texans made 10 roster moves today, including placing offensive lineman David Quessenberry on the reserve/non-football injury list.
The Texans have to make four more moves to reduce their roster to the required 75 by Tuesday at 3 p.m.
The Texans waived receiver Joe Adams, receiver Alec Lemon, guard Sam Longo, running back William Powell, nose tackle David Hunter, nose tackle Austin Brown, cornerback Junior Mertile, outside linebacker Terrance Lloyd and outside linebacker Lawrence Sidbury.
The roster must be reduced to 53 next week.
Because the Texans finished with an NFL-worst 2-14 record last season, they get the first claim on every player placed on waivers.

Suge Knight shot 6 times at Chris Brown’s pre-VMAs party in Los Angeles

The rap mogul was reportedly seriously injured and rushed to the hospital, where he is said to be recovering in ICU. Knight and two others were reportedly the victims of shots said to be aimed at Brown and possibly Justin Bieber. All the victims are expected to recover, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Gunshots rang out at a pre-Video Music Awards party hosted by Chris Brown and singer Pia Mia in West Hollywood in the early morning hours on Sunday.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, a shooting occurred at 1OAK nightclub in the 9000 block of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood where two men and a woman were wounded, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said in a statement provided to the Daily News.
The suspect remains unknown, but the victims include a 49-year-old male, widely reported as music producer Marion (Suge) Knight, as well as two unnamed victims, a 32-year-old male and a 19-year-old female. All the victims were transported to local hospitals and are expected to recover.
While the 25-year-old R&B singer is said to have been the intended target, it was Knight who took the heat along with the two other victims,reports TMZ

"Literally can't believe what I just witnessed," one attendee, Katie Clendon, tweeted after she was seemingly inside the club. "Someone tried to fire shots at Chris Brown at 1oak. Speechless."
The 49-year-old Death Row Records founder was reportedly taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital after being shot six times. The latest reports state Knight is in ICU, but is expected to recover after undergoing emergency surgery.
"Los Angeles #1OAK was shot at last night. #SugeKnight was shot," @joyawilliams captioned a video from inside the nightclub on Instagram. "That #ChrisBrown in the air going nuts. The bouncer is yelling get down or stay down?"

Earlier reports indicated Knight was shot twice, in the stomach and arm, a source told the gossip site.
"Prayers to all those who were harmed by this," Clendon later tweeted. "Honestly still in disbelief this happened."

Chris Brown enjoyed his pre-VMAs party at 1OAK in West Hollywood on Aug. 23 before shots rang out reportedly injuring three, including Suge Knight. The shots were said to be targeting Brown.ARAYA DIAZ/GETTY IMAGESEnlarge
Justin Bieber was among the star-studded guests that attended Chris Brown and Pia Mia’s pre-VMAs party at 1OAK in West Hollywood on Aug. 23. He enjoyed the dancefloor prior to shots ringing out and injuring three.ARAYA DIAZ/GETTY IMAGESEnlarge
Chris Brown and Justin Bieber enjoyed Brown's pre-VMAs party at 1OAK in West Hollywood on Aug. 23 before shots rang out reportedly injuring three, including Suge Knight. The shots were said to be targeting Brown.
Among the star-studded attendees was model Tyson Beckford, actor Robert Ri'chard, and Black Eyed Peas member, who all told TMZ they heard four shots fired inside the swanky hot spot.
Rapper The Game was also said to be one of the celeb guests partying prior to MTV's big awards show taking place in Los Angeles Sunday night.
The Game is said to have tried to get into the party about an hour and a half before the shooting and was reportedly denied entry after having an altercation with security guards that turned into a full-on fight, reports TMZ.

While the rapper, born Jayceon Terrell Taylor, supposedly left, his friends were said to have stayed behind. There is no evidence that The Game's earlier reported altercation at the nightclub had anything to do with the shots that rang out shortly after.

In fact, images that surfaced appear to show Game partying at Brown's fiesta, which contradict reports he was unable to gain entry.
Knight reportedly walked out of the club on his own accord and sat in a police car prior to being put in an ambulance and rushed to the hospital for treatment.
On high alert after the shooting, cops reportedly stood with guns drawn as the other clubgoers exited 1OAK.
"It's disappointing that we as a society can't have fun or enjoy ourselves without any altercations sometimes," Brown tweeted early Sunday morning. "Miss me with the bulls--t!!!"
A rep for Chris Brown has yet to respond to the Daily News' request for comment.


Published: Sunday, August 24, 2014, 9:55 AM

Thaddeus Young Headed To Minnesota Timberwolves In Three-Team Kevin Love Trade

The Kevin Love trade that was agreed upon weeks ago will be made official on Saturday as the 30-day waiting period will come to an end. The deal was originally going to only involve the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, but the Philadelphia 76ers will join in by inserting Thaddeus Young to the trade, according to reports made by Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
The official deal will send Kevin Love to the Cavaliers to form a new big three withLeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will receive Andrew WigginsAnthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young, a first-round draft pick from the Cavaliers, and a trade exception worth nearly $4 million in which the Wolves will have an entire year to use.
The Philadelphia 76ers will acquire Luc Mbah a MouteAlexey Shved, and Miami Heat’s first-round draft pick that Cleveland owns.
Minnesota has always wanted Young as a replacement for Love. Young will supply the youthful Wolves with veteran leadership and versatility as a power forward. He averaged 17.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last season. Andrew Wiggins, as everyone knows, has star credentials and will be the future of the Timberwolves.
Philadelphia continues its rebuilding project as they unload more talent to ensure a high lottery pick in the near future. However, Mbah a Moute and rookie big manJoel Embiid share a great relationship as they are both from Cameroon, and Mbah a Moute has served as a mentor for the twenty-year old.
Cleveland really likes Andrew Wiggins, but they figure that their winning chances are much higher with Kevin Love as of now. Love plans to opt out of his contract regardless but will surely re-sign a long-term deal with the Cavaliers.
After completing a trade call with the league offices, the deal will be done. The Timberwolves are reportedly prepared to introduce Wiggins, Bennett, and Young on Tuesday. 
Vahan Shakhpazyan