NFL expands Isaacson's role as part of domestic violence policy overhaul

The National Football League has tapped Anna Isaacson to take on a new role as VP of social responsibility in the wake of video footage emerging of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice attacking his wife.

Anna Isaacson
Anna Isaacson

NEW YORK: The National Football League has tapped Anna Isaacson to take on a new role as VP of social responsibility in the wake of video footage emerging of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice attacking his wife.

Isaacson, who has been with the league since 2006, is tasked with overseeing the development of the NFL’s education, training, and support programs related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and matters of respect at the organization, according to a memo NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent to teams and staffers this morning.

Most recently, Isaacson served as the NFL’s VP of community affairs and philanthropy since last August, leading the organization’s internal work relating to how it addresses issues of domestic violence and related social issues, Goodell explained in the letter.

Last week, Rice was fired by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after TMZ Sports released a video showing the athlete knocking out his then-fiancée in an elevator. Goodell is currently under fire from members of the media and women’s advocacy groups, who are calling for his resignation because of how he handled the situation.  

The new role has been created with a goal of accelerating the NFL’s implementation of the commitments made in a letter Goodell wrote last month, which announced an overhaul of the league’s domestic violence policy, the memo added.

Working alongside director of player engagement and education Deana Garner, Isaacson will lead the NFL’s cross-organizational staffers in executing these programs.

Isaacson joined the NFL in 2006 as director of community programs, according to her LinkedIn page.

In addition, the league has retained a number of senior advisers, including Lisa Friel, the former head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney's Office; No More cofounder Jane Randel; and Rita Smith, the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They are responsible for shaping the NFL’s programs and policies relating to domestic violence and sexual assault.  

"We are continuing to develop our organization to strengthen our ability to address the wide range of issues we face and other changes in our office will be announced soon," Goodell wrote in the memo. "Our goal is to make a real difference on these and other issues. We know that we will be judged by our actions and their effectiveness."

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