Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | nfl | ray rice | roger goodell | domestic violence | football

Ex-NFL Agent: Rice Scandal Should Cost Goodell His Job

By    |   Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:02 PM

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's claimed ignorance of a second, more damning Ray Rice domestic assault video was — at best — calculated and deliberate, a former NFL player agent and a former New York prosecutor both told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

The ex-agent, Florida lawyer and sports medicine consultant Joe Casale, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that Goodell's handling of the Rice episode also reflects a pattern of willful blindness to violent off-field player behavior — and leaves him unfit to serve as the league's boss.

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"It all comes down to leadership, and I think in this instance, do you believe, given Roger Goodell's record — his handling not just of this scandal but numerous other ones — he's going to change his ways?" said Casale. "And I frankly don't think so. I think he should resign and I think the NFL needs to consider that. 

"And I think it's going down that road, whether it's now, next month or next year," said Casale.

Rice, originally suspended two games for an attack that left his then-fiancee Janay Palmer — now his wife, Janay Rice — unconscious, has now been stripped of his high-paying job as the Baltimore Ravens running back and his right to play in the NFL.

League officials had confirmed seeing one video connected to the Feb. 15 assault when they suspended Rice: lobby surveillance footage that showed him dragging a motionless Palmer from an elevator at Revel, a now-shuttered Atlantic City, N.J., hotel and casino.

The harsher punishment, and the uproar, came on Monday, after the celebrity gossip site TMZ posted video it had acquired from inside the elevator — where a single punch by Rice sent his fiancee sprawling to the floor.

"Not only was it brutal to watch, but his actions afterwards are even just as callous," Julie Rendelman, a former Brooklyn, N.Y., prosecutor, told Berliner on Wednesday, giving her collective impression of both videos.

"I mean this is a guy who doesn't even bend down to check to see if she's okay, and is pretty cavalier looking down as the attendants [who] come to help," said Rendelman.

"So that, coupled with the punch, is just absolutely abhorrent," she said.

Asked whether she believed Goodell's claim not to have previously seen the elevator video, she said, "No, I don't," but she allowed that it's "possible that he chose not to see it because he didn't want to have to make such a horrible decision."

Casale agreed.

"I don't think he saw the video, but he purposely didn't see the video," said Casale. "Do I believe no one in NFL security — no one subcontracted by the NFL in security detail — saw the video? No, because it goes against everything the NFL talks about, and everything in the 29 years I've been around the NFL in the way they conduct investigations.

"There [were] people calling [sports radio] talk shows a month ago saying they saw the [elevator] video on YouTube," he said. "So it strikes me as not even remotely logical that no one employed at [the NFL's New York City headquarters at] 345 Park Ave., or any of their subcontracted security people, did not see the video and alert either Mr. Goodell or people around Mr. Goodell of its content."

Legal authorities in Atlantic City, N.J., for their part, have defended the deal they struck with Rice that allowed him to avoid a trial.

But Rendelman said that nothing that is immediately apparent about the Rice incident — not even his wife's refusal to testify — should have prevented them from pursuing a case.

"We've had many domestic violence cases in Brooklyn … where the victim does not want to go forward, but we still go forward," said Rendelman.

Because of the video in the Rice case, "you don't need her testimony in order to convict," she said. "So I do question whether a pre-trial intervention was the appropriate decision on this case. But perhaps there's facts that we don't know about."

Said Casale, "It's important to look at Roger Goodell's overall record on domestic violence since he took over in September of 2006 as commissioner."

Casale said that the 56 domestic violence cases involving players during Goodell's tenure have resulted in 13 player suspensions and, of that number, 10 players cut outright by their teams.

"And that's just just from the arrest data," said Casale. "That's not counting cases that we probably know existed but either the NFL or the individual teams didn't make public.

"So his record on this issue is abhorrent,' he said, adding, "the initial penalty [against Rice] goes in line with his ruling on past domestic violence cases. And when 40 percent of your fan base is female, you can imagine why everyone justifiably is up in arms."

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's claimed ignorance of a second, more damning Ray Rice domestic assault video was -- at best -- calculated and deliberate, a former NFL player agent and a former New York prosecutor both told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.
nfl, ray rice, roger goodell, domestic violence, football, commissioner
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:02 PM
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