LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A former track and field star looks to take on the urgent and daunting task of correcting the NFL’s issues with domestic violence.

The incidents of former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiance in an elevator and of Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson allegedly abusing his children as a form of discipline have left marks on the league’s image.

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Former collegiate track champion and current president of USA Track and Field Stephanie Hightower says she understands the competitive nature of athletics but says that it does not provide an excuse for violence at home.

“Yes, we have to be aggressive when we are on the field of play,” Hightower said. “But that’s on the field of play, and what we have to be able to do as athletes is not take that and transfer that into our daily lives.”

As president of the Columbus Urban League, Hightower sees first-hand women and children struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives after suffering domestic violence.

Hightower says that the NFL may benefit from hearing what the members of the National Urban League, as well as Black Women’s Roundtable, have to say.

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She says she looks forward to meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the future.


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