For the first time, President Barack Obama weighed in on the Ray Rice scandal and the NFL’s response to instances of domestic violence.
Calling in to ESPN’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Friday morning, where he also revealed that he spends most of his time watching ESPN in the morning, the president said that while it is a positive thing that more people are talking about domestic violence, what happened to Janay Rice was unfortunate and the NFL was “behind the curve in sending a clear message.”
“You don’t want to be winging it when something like this happens,” Obama said. “You want to have clear policies in place — that fact that policies have now been established, I think, will send a message that there’s no place for that kind of behavior in society.”
Obama praised those who establish “clear policies and guidelines ahead of time,” and said the most clear example where this was not the case was with Ray Rice.
“I’m so glad that we got more awareness about domestic violence,” Obama said. “Obviously the situation that happened in the Rice family was unfortunate, but it did lift up awareness that this is a real problem that we’ve got to root out, and men have to change their attitudes and behavior and it has to start young.”
The president concluded by saying he hopes the Ray Rice fallout was a “wake-up call” for the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Listen to President Obama’s remarks below, via ESPN (starts at around 1:55):
[Featured image via screengrab]
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