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Once it decided on Josh Gordon's full year suspension for marijuana, the NFL had to know the blowback would be tremendous, after Ray Rice's mere two game suspension for highly public domestic abuse.
Unfortunately, snarkily written jokes on Twitter don't subtract money out of the league's lucrative model, so, they could also have thought that they could keep things the same and nothing would change.
But, apparently, the NFL does care about not looking like the most clueless, chauvinistic pro sports entity, and made the change people were hoping for. There will be issues with it, there will be exceptions to it, but the point is, there's a harsher domestic abuse policy in place for NFL players, one that features a lifetime ban for a second offense.