The White House told the National Football League to "get a handle" on its string of domestic and child abuse cases, while also on Thursday stating the league needs a zero tolerance policy, per CBS News.
A senior administration official relayed to reporters that recent cases involving NFL players and abuse against women and children are "deeply troubling." The official goes on, via CBS:
"The NFL has an obligation not only to their fans but to the American people to properly discipline anyone involved in domestic violence or child abuse and more broadly, gain control of the situation," the official continued.
"Many of these professional athletes are marketed as role models to young people and so their behavior does have the potential to influence these young people, and it's one of the many reasons it's important that the league get a handle on this and have a zero tolerance."
The official is referring to a bevy of incidents, including former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching out his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an elevator back in February, and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson allegedly beating his 4-year-old son with a tree branch. Then there is the case of Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who abused his girlfriend and threatened to kill her.
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested after being accused of hitting his pregnant girlfriend, but is still on the field as the 49ers have said they intend to let the legal process play out.
Rice was originally given a two-game suspension before a second video was released by TMZ, showing footage of Rice pummeling Palmer with a left hook. Rice was then suspended indefinitely and was released by the Ravens. Both Peterson and Hardy are on the exempt list, meaning they are paid but can not practice or play.
Earlier this week, Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested for alleged domestic abuse, with reports that he head-butted his wife, then broke a bone in her face with a punch. Dwyer didn't allegedly stop there, throwing a shoe at his 1-year-old son.