Rep. Mike Honda

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Rep. Mike Honda said he was “shocked and saddened” by the handling of a number of football players accused of domestic violence against by the National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell in recent weeks.

“Commissioner Goodell’s inaction has damaged the integrity of the NFL and, most importantly, sent a dangerous message to players and fans across America that committing a horrific act of violence will result in little to no penalty,” Honda said Friday in a statement.

Earlier in the week, a graphic video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his then-girlfriend was released by TMZ and triggered his release from the team and uproar across the country. San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers players were also alleged to have committed violent acts against women recently. The NFL has also been criticized for allowing the suspected offenders to continue playing games.

“I am calling on the NFL to immediately institute a zero-tolerance policy and send the right message to NFL players, and all Americans, that if a player violently assault a woman, he will lose his privilege to play football,” said Honda.

Honda’s condemnation of the NFL and Goodell was part of a letter sent to the league office on Friday by 20 female members of Congress, including California U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. In addition, to calling for a zero-tolerance policy toward domestic violence, the letter also references the 20th anniversary of the landmark passage of the Violence Against Women Act.