The leader of Gatorade maker PepsiCo is urging the National Football League to "seize the moment" and put domestic violence and child abuse policies in place immediately once it conducts its review.
PepsiCo Inc. Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said in a statement that the NFL has a chance to "effect positive change with the situation presented to them."
PepsiCo is one of several NFL sponsors watching closely as the league investigates how its executives handled evidence in the domestic violence case of former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice. The Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson is also facing a felony child abuse charge that has placed more attention on the NFL. Nike has suspended its endorsement deal with the running back.
As The Wall Street Journal reports: "For now, big advertisers have stopped short of taking the most aggressive steps, such as pulling their TV ad dollars or canceling major league sponsorships and contracts. Instead, most are publicly condemning alleged misconduct by NFL players, while promising to monitor the situation."
Campbell Soup, Procter & Gamble, and McDonald's have issued statements condemning domestic abuse.
Nooyi also expressed confidence that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would "do the right thing for the league."
The full text of Nooyi's statement follows:
"I am a mother, a wife, and a passionate football fan. I am deeply disturbed that the repugnant behavior of a few players and the NFL's acknowledged mishandling of these issues, is casting a cloud over the integrity of the league and the reputations of the majority of players who've dedicated their lives to a career they love. When it comes to child abuse and domestic violence, there is no middle ground. The behaviors are disgusting, absolutely unacceptable, and completely fly in the face of the values we at PepsiCo believe in and cherish.
"Given PepsiCo's long-standing partnership with the NFL, I know Roger Goodell. We have worked together for many years. I know him to be a man of integrity, and I am confident that he will do the right thing for the league in light of the serious issues it is facing.
"Over the past several days, it is increasingly apparent that the NFL is starting to treat these issues with the seriousness they deserve. Hiring former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct a thorough investigation is a positive step, as is hiring three prominent women with significant, relevant expertise and assigning another, who is an NFL official, to help shape its domestic violence policies. These individuals must now be given the necessary time to review all relevant facts so that corrective actions can be taken, and well-tailored and effective policies against domestic violence and child abuse can be implemented immediately.
"The reality for Commissioner Goodell and the NFL is that they now have an opportunity to effect positive change with the situation presented to them. I urge them to seize this moment. How they handle these cases going forward can help shape how we, as a nation, as a society, and as individuals treat domestic violence and child abuse."