Charlotte, NC - While many sports fans are excited for the NFL's return the league says it's still tackling major issues that overshadowed the game last season.
Domestic abuse, sexual assault and child abuse cases. The league says it's changed it's policy on domestic violence.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend the violence prevention conference this weekend. The NFL Players Association's leader tells Fox 46 News there's no place for domestic violence on and off the field and it takes educating players and the community to start making a difference.
"Much is given, much is required. And the story lines are not always the most positive in what we want to see, but they're a reality," Troy Vincent, executive Vice President of Football Operations with the NFL said.
Vincent says the NFL is a better organization now because it's dealing with real life problems many people face. One that his own mother personally dealt with.
"My mother is a victim. Or was a victim and now a survivor of domestic violence. Something that I've witnessed," Vincent said.
The NFL and other organizations are now teaming up with "a call to men," an advocacy group to spotlight the root of the problem.
"We begin to develop boys from birth to think like a man. In many occasions when we're thought to think like a man, we're taught to devalue women," Tony Porter, a call to men, co-founder said.
One former Panthers player we spoke with says domestic violence prevention needs to be taught at a young age.
"When you're six years old and you're the fastest kid on the playground, everyone loves you. No one tells you no because you're the most valuable kid on your athletic field," Jason Baker said.
Vincent says NFL teams are now properly trained on how to identify domestic violence problems and how to find the right resources.
"What's captured is what's not right. And we listen. We've learned. And we've adjusted," Vincent said.
The conference's main message is to standup and not be silent when someone else is in need.