Marissa Payne (c) 2014, The Washington Post. News that the NFL initiated an independent investigation to look into how Commissioner Roger Goodell handled (or mishandled) the Ray Rice domestic violence case is not enough for some members of the “UltraViolet” women’s group.
The group has planned four protests in as many cities this weekend, during which planes will fly over stadiums towing banners that read “#GoodellMustGo.”
The cities on UltraViolet’s schedule include: Cleveland, where the Browns will face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday; East Rutherford, New Jersey, where the New York Giants will play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday; San Francisco, where the 49ers will meet the Chicago Bears on Sunday; and Indianapolis, where the Colts will take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday. The planes will fly over the stadiums a few hours before kickoff to comply with no-fly restrictions.
“It is time for Roger Goodell to resign, and for the NFL to get serious about its commitment to ending violence against women within the league,” said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, in a news release. “In a country where a woman is battered every nine seconds and one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, we simply cannot afford to have an NFL commissioner who doesn’t take this issue seriously — which is clear from new evidence that NFL officials had graphic evidence of the Ray Rice assault since April.”
Chaudhary added that her group’s protest is also about more than just Ray Rice:
“It is also clear given the league’s failure to take action in the domestic violence cases of New Orleans Saints player Greg Hardy — found guilty of assault in a court of law in July — and San Francisco 49ers player Ray McDonald.”
(Note: Hardy plays for the Carolina Panthers.)
To go along with the flyovers, the group is also circulating a petition that it encourages both men and women to sign. The petition calls the NFL’s actions on domestic violence “horrendous” and, again, calls for him to resign.