NHL Learns From NFL's Mistakes Handling Domestic Abuse

L.A. Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was arrested Monday morning and accused of domestic abuse.

NHL Learns From NFL's Mistakes Handling Domestic Abuse
Getty Images / Jim McIsaac

Sports figures involved in domestic violence issues are making headlines again, but this time it's not the NFL. 

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was arrested Monday morning for, what the NHL says, are domestic violence charges. 

Details of the alleged altercation are still scarce. TMZ reports the victim, who claims she was in a relationship with Voynov, was taken to the hospital for injuries. 

The NHL released a statement to the media before the news broke, announcing the 24-year-old defenseman's indefinite suspension from the league. The NHL cited Section 18-A.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the suspension. But, as CBC News points out, this hasn't always been the case. 

VIA CBC"A year ago the NHL didn't comment when Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was arrested on assault charges. He continued playing. There was no suspension in that situation. ... So the league taking swift action in this case." 

In that case, Varlamov's girlfriend at the time claimed the goaltender stomped on her face at the apartment the two shared. Charges were later dropped. 

Of course, Voynov's arrest comes in the midst of the NFL's domestic violence issues which started, in part, when the league gave just a two game suspension to former Ravens RB Ray Rice. 

ROGER GOODELL VIA WCBS: "I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice case." 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has since revised the NFL's domestic abuse policies. 

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, on the other hand, is being applauded for his swift action in this case. 

JOHN SHANNON VIA SPORTSNET"When you consider what's gone on in professional sports, for the league to take this effort, it's the right thing. ... Under what has happened in other pro sports leagues in the last five months, this was inevitable." 

Yahoo also gave similar praise to Bettman, writing "This is the only way to respond."

Now we should note that the NHL did get the opportunity to act second in terms of pro sports leagues dealing with domestic abuse and players, so the NHL was able to watch and learn from everything the NFL went through.

As the Rice scandal continued, a hockey writer for Sports Illustrated penned that the NHL should learn from the NFL. "The Rice situation creates an opportunity for another unified and very public stand in support of the rights of women to live their lives without fear of their partners. Better to take that stand now than in the aftermath of an ugly incident."

Voynov is due in court Wednesday. He will be paid while on suspension from the NHL.