Tags: Roger Goodell | NFL

NFL's Roger Goodell Needs to Go

By Friday, 19 September 2014 02:30 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It’s not every day you can liken the commissioner of the National Football League to a Pope. And since there’s nothing angelic about the NFL, you know it’s negative.

Pope John Paul II is remembered as the pontiff on whose watch the pedophilia scandal climaxed. He either knew and turned a blind eye, or was asleep at the switch. In other words, he was either responsible, or irresponsible. And because of that, he lost his credibility.

Likewise, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell either knew about widespread acts of domestic violence occurring throughout his league, choosing to keep playing rather than call penalties, or he was the odd man out of the huddle, an appalling lack of awareness for someone who made over $100 million since 2008.

Either way, Goodell should go. Prolonging the inevitable will invite further scrutiny, and given the number of stars arrested recently, the last thing the NFL needs is an instant replay of the last several weeks.

Let’s look at the major points:
  • Several months ago, Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice was captured on video dragging his unconscious then-fiancé out of an elevator. He took responsibility for assaulting her, and was suspended for two games by Goodell. But later, when a video of the assault surfaced, Goodell was forced by public pressure to suspend Rice indefinitely.
Why the original lenient penalty? Was it the good ole’ boys club thinking a slap on the wrist would suffice, and the whole thing would just disappear?

Or maybe the commissioner truly thought a two-game suspension was adequate. If that’s the case, though, it would mean Goodell equates domestic violence with helmet-to-helmet hits, as that infraction often merits the same two-game suspension.

Either gross miscalculation would merit Goodell’s firing on the grounds of sheer stupidity, proof positive that one’s salary and title, no matter how impressive, don’t mean squat when it comes to common sense and effective leadership.
  • More plausible is that NFL executives, including Goodell, saw the second video quite some time ago (which they continue to deny) and acted only because it became public. Goodell loses on all points.
Law enforcement officials state they sent the video to the NFL offices. If we can stop laughing long enough to believe Goodell’s assertion that he never saw the video, the only answer is that he is presiding over an office riddled with incompetence. Rather than a good defense, that’s a friable offense.

Why didn’t the NFL immediately ask law enforcement and the hotel for ALL videos? To claim it was denied such a request is ludicrous. The NFL isn’t just a multibillion-dollar enterprise, but one of the most powerful institutions in the world. So questioning how thoroughly Goodell’s office investigated the incident is fair game.
  • It’s not the crime but the cover-up. With new revelations surfacing every day, Goodell and the League look destined to repeat the same type of stupid mistakes as Watergate.
Let’s be honest. The only reason Goodell has been strengthening the NFL’s policies on domestic violence is because he got caught. Had the second video never come to light, it would be business-as-usual.

But this isn’t new. Baseball’s leadership had full knowledge of widespread steroid use, yet refused to deal with it, not even making it illegal until well into the “steroid era.” Yet that didn’t stop self-righteous executives from decrying the “evils” of steroids after the issue became front-page news, conveniently after having made billions off players using them.

For decades, the NFL has been a bastion of hypocrisy, and this scandal shows that nothing’s changed. Many players have been pampered from grade school, instilling in them a mentality that they can do as they please with no consequences, with “accountability” achieved through an agent’s carefully word-smithed press statement.

Goodell knew this, yet did little or nothing to change the “rules-don’t-apply-to-me” mentality. There are many players of good character, but also many who are simply millionaire thugs. By failing to proactively deal with them before trouble brewed, and instead of being a consistent hard-liner after the fact, Goodell endorsed the status quo. Now he needs to face the music.
  • Compare the Ray Rice situation with that of former L.A. Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling:
Many will condone allowing Rice back in the League after some type of “counseling” and punishment, just as Michael Vick was reinstated after killing dogs. But many remain adamant that Sterling, who never physically harmed anyone, should be banned forever from the NBA. Where are we going when we so callously pick and choose what justice to mete out based on our personal bias, common sense and justice be damned?

Time for NFL owners to punt Roger Goodell to get the League back on a winning drive.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.


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Let’s be honest. The only reason Goodell has been strengthening the NFL’s policies on domestic violence is because he got caught.
Roger Goodell, NFL
Friday, 19 September 2014 02:30 PM
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