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How the NFL still treats doping almost as seriously as domestic violence

The NFL’s eight-game suspension for Kareem Hunt for assaulting a woman is a step in the right direction. But only by the standards the NFL has set itself

The NFL handed Kareem Hunt an eight-game suspension 10 days ago, after concluding its investigation into the running back’s involvement in a fight at a resort last June. The league was forced into action after TMZ released video footage showing Hunt pushing a woman to the floor and then kicking her, before being held back by two other men. Hunt was not arrested and did not face charges for his actions. In its statement, the NFL said the ban was also in connection with “physical altercations” at Hunt’s residence last February.

The eight-game ban is significant as it’s the first time the NFL has punished a player by more than the “baseline suspension” of six games as stipulated in its Player Conduct Policy for first-time offenders, which it updated in December 2014. Before the NFL ruled on Hunt, the average suspension for first-time offenders of domestic violence, assault, child abuse or sexual abuse had been 3.7 games, since the league updated its policy after its botched handling of the Ray Rice scandal in 2014.

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