Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | roger goodell | ray rice | George Vecsey

NY Times Columnist: NFL Commissioner May Go Down Over Rice

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 03:20 PM

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may face the ax over his league's inept handling of star running back Ray Rice's horrific beating of his fiancée, New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey says.

"Why not? … Lots of chief executives go down in businesses a lot closer to home for one reason or another," Vecsey said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
He is the author of many acclaimed sports books, including "Eight World Cups: My Journey through the Beauty and Dark Side of Soccer," published by Times Books.

"As in any business, if you think your chief executive is not on the ball, is insensitive, or stupid, or covering up or somewhere in between…."

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Goodell has been under fire for not taking more severe action against Rice, the Baltimore Ravens player who last February coldcocked his fiancée in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino hotel.

The commissioner originally suspended Rice for two games. But on Monday, when TMZ Sports posted a graphic security video of the attack, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely.

Goodell has insisted he never saw the video, but TMZ Sports reported Tuesday that the NFL never contacted the Atlantic City casino where the assault occurred to request it. TMZ said that "raises the question ... Is that the way he wanted it?"

"Unless the NFL is making so much money that everybody says we're not going to even show we have any concerns about the way we do business as long as the money keeps rolling in. And who am I to say the money won't rule over everything?"

Vecsey said that if Goodell's statement is true, "they're incompetent."

"Either way, they really missed the ball on this because either Goodell knew about it or he didn't. Either way is not good for a league that is supposed to be on top of them," Vecsey said.

"It's held up as the great American sports league, and you have a guy beating up his wife and dragging her through an elevator door. At some point, you might want to know all the facts about it.

"If they didn't, it only fits into a pattern, which I would say goes back to the concussion scandal that is over the heads of the National Football League and is not going to go away…"

The Ravens terminated Rice's $35 million contract on Monday.

The embattled athlete's now-wife Janay Rice — the two married a month after the beating — came out swinging against the media on Tuesday for publicizing the video.

"To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific," Palmer raged on Instagram.

Vecsey said Ray Rice may very well have changed since punching his wife-to-be out cold.

"I can't look into her heart or his. They could very well be that he has had a change, that he realizes that he did something terrible. Things may be OK with them, and God bless them, I really hope they are," Vecsey said.

"The real issue is the next woman that would be in a position of getting beat up by a guy twice or three times her size just because he was unhappy with her at the moment ... The NFL has got to be looking at it more carefully."

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may face the ax over his league's inept handling of star running back Ray Rice's horrific beating of his fiancée, New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey says.
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2014-20-09
Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 03:20 PM
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