Roger Goodell said that he has no intention of resigning, despite constant outside pressure. Even though he insists he won’t resign, I think the commissioner needs to go. This past week has been one of the darkest weeks in recent NFL history, and the fallout needs to fall on the commissioner’s shoulders.
Goodell has been considered a tough commissioner during his tenure, cracking down on players and other members of the NFL community for a variety of misdeeds, most notably drug offenses and illegal in-game hits. Events of this past week have demonstrated that Goodell and the league don’t have the same stern stance on domestic violence when it comes to its players.
At this point, most people have seen the video released by TMZ of Ray Rice assaulting his fiancée in the casino elevator. The surfacing of this video resulted in Rice’s release by the Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the NFL. But many questions arose from this case. How did the mighty NFL not get its hands on this video when TMZ was able to? It’s obvious that a video existed because the event occurred in a casino elevator, so why didn’t the NFL do everything in its power to get its hands on this tape? There have also been reports that came out this week that make the league offices look bad. The first report was by the Associated Press, saying that the infamous video was sent to the league offices months ago. There was also a report that Ray Rice told Roger Goodell all the details of the assault months ago in a face-to-face meeting.
Whether he physically saw the tape or not, Goodell is responsible for everything involving the NFL league office. As he told Saints coach Sean Payton when handing down Spygate suspensions, “ignorance is not an excuse.” Now, Goodell is getting a taste of his own medicine. His ignorance should not excuse his decision to only give Ray Rice a two-game suspension for his actions, especially if the above allegations are all true.
Along with the Ray Rice incident, there are a few other domestic violence incidents that have caused people to question the league’s stance on the issue. Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was convicted of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend, but he’s still playing this week while he appeals the conviction. Ray McDonald, a 49ers defensive tackle, also continues to play after he was accused of domestic violence. These incidents make these teams look bad, but also serve as a huge black eye for a league which avoids stepping in and suspending these players.
I understand the league wants to get all of the details before handing out disciplines. However, where there’s smoke, there’s often fire in these cases. The decisions made by the league office show the league is taking a soft stance when it comes to domestic violence when it should be cracking down. The National Organization for Women has come out and demanded Roger Goodell resigns. Many players, like Terrance Knighton and London Fletcher, have been very outspoken on social media about these incidents.
There is no place for these actions in the NFL, and the soft stance and horrible mishandling of these cases is inexcusable, and that falls on the head of the commissioner. I don’t think the NFL owners will fire Goodell until it’s evident that he’s hurting the business, but it’s time for Goodell to protect the NFL shield by resigning.