MLB commissioner Bud Selig put his foot in his mouth late last week by saying that he couldn’t remember the last domestic violence incident in baseball, but he is being proactive in the wake of the Ray Rice situation in the NFL.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Selig said today that MLB and the players union will meet this week to reach a policy regarding domestic abuse. The plan calls to introduce a formal discipline for any future cases — there is no league policy at the moment — but the union must sign off on it before it is put into effect.
Below is a statement Selig issued to USA Today Sports:
“I constantly say that baseball is a social institution with very important social responsibilities. Domestic violence is one of the one worst forms of societal conduct. We understand the responsibility of baseball to quickly and firmly address off-field conduct by our players, even potentially in situations in which the criminal justice system does not do so.
“I am proud that baseball disciplinary standards have changed over time, as is evidenced by our drug program, to ensure we are handling such situations sensitively and firmly in the manner expected by our fans, while at the same time providing due process to those accused of wrongdoing.
“We are meeting with the Players Association this week to thoroughly discuss the issue of domestic violence, and how it should be addressed under our Basic Agreement going forward.”
Good news. Our own Craig Calcaterra wrote last week why it is in MLB’s best interests to get to work on a domestic abuse policy as soon as possible. Part of this is about learning from the NFL’s mistakes, but it’s also the right thing to do.