The Canadian Football League (CFL) has just taken a seemingly strong stance against violence towards women, an issue that has been a hot topic over the past year, with several high profile incidents making the news. The league has instituted a new employment policy that imposes harsh penalties for acts of violence. The penalties, which range from suspensions to lifetime bans, will apply not only to players, but to all employees of the league.
The CFL policy provides that:
• The policy applies to everyone who works for the CFL – not just players, but coaches, officials, executives and staff.
• Everyone in the CFL will receive mandatory training on violence against women and the issues surrounding it on an annual basis.
• The CFL will support, endorse and participate in efforts to increase awareness of violence against women and ways to prevent it throughout society, and in particular among Canadian youth.
• When any CFL workplace, including a CFL football club or one of its corporate offices, receives a report of violence against women involving a CFL employee, we will act.
While many corporations across the country already have taken steps to address violence in the workplace, this is a good step for Canadian professional sports. What remains to be seen is how it will be enforced.