NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league will "take a fresh look" at its domestic violence policies in light of the issues surrounding the NFL.
"We learn from other league's experiences. We're studying everything that's been happening in the NFL," Silver said on Monday at a news conference to announce the league's community service initiative in New York City in conjunction with the 2015 All-Star Game. "We're working with our players' association [and new executive director Michele Roberts]. We've been talking for several weeks, and we're going to take a fresh look at everything we do."
The NFL has drawn criticism for its handling of Ray Rice's domestic violence case. Silver said the NBA can "learn from" the NFL's missteps in the Rice case.
"The whole world's focused right now on what's happening around the NFL, so it would be foolish for us not to try to learn from everything that's happening with that league," Silver said.
The commissioner added that the NBA is "studying it like everyone else is -- as I'm sure [the NFL is] -- to make sure mistakes don't happen again." The NBA has specific policies regarding violent misconduct and unlawful violence, which includes domestic violence. The current collective bargaining agreement calls for a minimum 10-game suspension and mandatory counseling for a conviction on a first offense.
The league has the authority to impose discipline beyond that minimum punishment.
The NBA also addresses domestic violence in its rookie transition program and team awareness meetings, Silver said.
The commissioner said the league would look to "enhance" those programs.
"By no means am I naive; we've had our share of issues over the years," Silver said. "What we can do is focus on education. We have in place the appropriate mechanisms for discipline, but we'll take a fresh look at them as well. Most importantly it's education. It's not just the players, but it's the players' families. That's what we're learning.
"We have to take these programs directly to the players' spouses, directly to their partners, so they're aware of places they can go to express concerns. Whether they're anonymous hotlines, team executives [or] league executives. And we're consulting experts. There's a lot to be learned here. It's a societal problem. It's not one that's unique to sports. We're enlisting lots of experts out there to help us."
Silver said that the NBA and the players' association continually analyze their policies. But the NFL's situation has spurred the league to look specifically at ways to better educate its employees about domestic violence.
"It's one thing to know how to react when it happens, but it's a lot smarter to make sure it doesn't happen in the first instance," Roberts said. "So one of the things Adam and I have agreed to talk about are some prophylactic measures we can put into place [to] make sure everyone is adequately trained and understands. I think, frankly, this is an opportunity to have people be reminded of how bad misconduct can have a negative effect on consequences in the future. So we are going to talk about it, I hope, in ways that are more prophylactic than having to mete out more severe punishment."