U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined a bipartisan group of 16 women senators Thursday in sending a letter to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, urging him to institute a “real zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence.”

Goodell has come under fire for his handling of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was arrested in February for assaulting his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City casino elevator.

Goodell, whose office is responsible for disciplining players for a variety of reasons, originally suspended Rice for two games, then later admitted he “didn’t get it right.”

Since the suspension, video footage has been released that shows Rice punching Janay Palmer, who is now his wife.

Shortly after the release of that video, the Ravens cut ties with Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely, but pressure has been mounting on Goodell to do more. Some women’s groups have called for his resignation.

“We were shocked and disgusted by the images we saw this week of one of your players violently assaulting his now-wife and knocking her unconscious, and at new reports that the NFL may have received this video months ago. Tragically, this is not the only case of an NFL player allegedly assaulting a woman even within the last year,” the 16 senators wrote.

The senators said the NFL’s new domestic violence policy, which was rolled out in late August in response to the Rice incident, is simply not good enough. If a player is convicted of a violent crime, they are subject to a six-game suspension, which means they could potentially return during the same season.

“We are deeply concerned that the NFL’s new policy would allow a player to commit a violent act and return after a short suspension,” the women wrote. “If you violently assault a woman, you shouldn’t get a second chance to play football in the NFL.

“The NFL’s current policy sends a terrible message to players, fans and all Americans that even after committing a horrific act of violence, you can quickly be back on the field.”

Goodell owns a home on Prouts Neck in Scarborough, but is not registered to vote there, according to town officials.

In addition to Collins, the following senators signed the letter: Barbara Boxer, D-California, Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, Patty Murray, D-Washington, Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, Dianne Feinstein, D-California, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, Kay Hagan, D-North Carolina and Maria Cantwell, D-Washington.

This story will be updated.

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