Vice President Biden on Friday will travel to Denver for an event on domestic violence amid swirling controversy over how the NFL has handled a string of high-profile arrests of top players.


The vice president has held a series of events on the subject in recent weeks in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act. Biden was a principal champion of the legislation during his tenure in the U.S. Senate.

But the issue gained renewed attention following the release of a video earlier this month that showed former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in a hotel elevator.

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were also recently arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse, and star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted for striking his child repeatedly with a switch.

Last week, Biden told NBC News that the Ravens "did the right thing" by releasing Rice after the video surfaced.

"So, you know the first reason the NFL responded to my view: There are so many women fans in this billion-dollar industry,” Biden said. “So all of a sudden they said, ‘Wait a minute, he got suspended for a couple games? Whoa, that’s not enough.’ Then, they get a little more sensitized. And then it was longer.”

“And then, when the video was out there, and saw how brutal it was, the Ravens did the right thing — fired him immediately,” he continued. “Now, you can argue they should have done it sooner. They didn’t want it. Whatever the reason is, it’s happening.”

On Monday, the NFL announced it was hiring four female advisers to help "help lead and shape the NFL's policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault."

"Because domestic violence and sexual assault are broad societal issues, we have engaged leading experts to provide specialized advice and guidance in ensuring that the NFL's programs reflect the most current and effective approaches," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a memo obtained by Sports Business Journal.