I'm not generally optimistic about these things, but this month the NCAA issued a resolution that athletic departments should not be involved in sexual assault cases on campus. The Department of Education has also informed colleges that they must investigate cases of sexual violence on campus and released a list of schools currently who have mishandled them.
These issues all have a similar root -- they involve violence against women and are crimes of power and control regardless of the perpetrator's gender.
Too often these crimes have been ignored and improperly investigated, and victims have been smeared and blamed. That injustice can be magnified when a person with power, an athlete, is accused.
With the confluence of these new policies, with a spotlight on this issue, it's almost possible to imagine a time when these issues are taken seriously.
At the very least, the NFL's new measures are a first step in that direction.