Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Roger Goodell wasn't just wrong

Now it's Roger Goodell's turn.

The NFL commissioner did the right thing Monday after it was the only thing left to do.

He suspended Baltimore's Ray Rice indefinitely after video released Monday showed what most everyone already suspected, that Rice knocked out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator in Februrary. But the new video might be almost as damning to Goodell as it is to Rice, because it's prompted everyone to take another look at Goodell's initial two-game suspension for the player in July.

It might not get easier for the commish today. TMZ, which released the elevator video Monday, was back today with casino officials who said they would've given the NFL a copy of the video, if the NFL had asked for one.

The NFL says that it asked Atlantic City police and other law enforcement for the elevator video, along with any other pertinent evidence. Police didn't supply the video, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, so no one in the NFL offices watched it.

It's a lame defense, and it's ultimately just as contemptible.

First, the lame. The NFL - with its powerful private security force and relationships with all levels of law enforcement - couldn't get its hands on the same casino video that the police, Ray Rice's attorney, and TMZ managed to get? The NFL could also have asked casino officials for a copy. It could have asked Rice's attorney, who might have balked but had no real leverage to say no. 

But the NFL didn't ask. Because Goodell must not have wanted to know. Because the commissioner knew what we all knew. That Janay Palmer walked into that elevator conscious. That she was dragged out of that elevator unconscious. That it was hard to imagine any kind of reason that would justify her ending up that way.

But without visual evidence of those moments between, Rice and the Ravens and Goodell had just enough space to craft a way out. So the Ravens and Rice constructed the fiction that Janay Palmer was complicit in getting knocked out, that Ray was merely defending himself. They put her up in front of the cameras with Rice. They released this tweet:

Goodell, when he ruled that Rice deserved to miss only two games, made sure to note how counseling had been beneficial to both Ray and Janay Rice. Because this awful moment wasn't just Ray's fault.

It was a well-crafted, reprehensible falsehood.

No one really bought it then, which is what prompted Goodell to admit he was wrong and introduce a new, stern domestic violence policy.

But now we have another Ray Rice video, and now we know that Roger Goodell didn't perform the most basic NFL duty. He didn't watch the film before making the call.

Instead, he let a lie happen. A troubling and telling lie. It's his turn to go.

Peter St. Onge


Veronica said...

Ummm...people in glass houses can Hard[l]y throw stones.

lannie said...

The NFL was handling this the way they always handle things--keep it out of the media.

Is it wrong? No but doing nothing but a 2 day suspension is wrong but its possible much more was done that we are not privy too. Even so he should have been handed down much more since Goodell was privy to this info. I fear there are those that play favoritism in the NFL. A player on another team did similar and was handed down a much bigger suspension and someone paid money to expose this situation because the talk was out there of Rice getting off so light.

Be it Goodell or owners and coaches --these matters of violence to a women or even another man or any kind of criminal behavior should be handled not ignored or a slap on the wrist when they occur. And they will occur and cannot be repeated over and over. With that said I am for trying to salvage this young man and give him a chance to get his life together. Not kick him out for good. They do with other players they can do it with him.

Wade said...



Strange as it may seem in the lynch-mob mentality of today's world, people lie. And strange as it may seem, people will lie to hurt someone. Before ANY punishment should be handed out there should always be some verifiable proof or a person found guilty in a court of law. No exception. And in some circumstances we must wait for the appeal process to carry out.

Guilty unless proven innocent leads to guilty even when proven innocent. That is not justice. It can ruin innocent people's lives, in which case the truly guilty one, the slander, wins. That is not justice. Innocent people should never be punished.

Evidence came out against Ray Rice, it was verifiable. Before that evidence, the correct action was to wait until the legal process was carried out. Any other action would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

Dear media people: STOP JUDGING PEOPLE BEFORE THE EVIDENCE COMES OUT! This opinion piece sickens me.

Smitty said...

Roger doesn't perform the investigation, he has a staff of people called NFL Security that performs the investigation. It appears they have dropped the ball by not obtaining this video and bringing it to Roger's attention sooner. If I fail to do my job I get fired not my manager. My guess is someone inside of NFL securities will get fired over this. I do wonder if the fans of Baltimore still feel like giving Ray Rice a standing ovation like they did when this first came out. Show some class B-more.

David Godfrey said...

Why should Goodell step down? Do you have some kind of PROOF that he saw the video taken inside the elevator? TMZ says that their casino contacts say that the NFL did NOT ask to see the video from inside the elevator.

John said...

While it's easy to throw rocks at the NFL, where is all the outrage about a prosecutor who, having this video, decided pre-trial intervention was more appropriate than prosecution? Where is the outrage about the Judge who signed off on it?

The NFL is NOT paid to punish criminal offenders, but this prosecutor and this judge ARE, and they are being given a free pass, probably because the advocacy folks can raise more funds bashing the NFL than a couple of half-wit politocos!

John said...

By the way, same prosecutor and same judge are throwing the book at a single mom from PA who had her legal concealed carry in her purse during a car trip to NJ... she apparently thought PA & NJ had reciprocity on the concealed carry. Honest mistake by a person with no criminal record (quite the opposite if she passed concealed carry) and they want to put her away for more then THREE YEARS while they let a videotaped batterer walk! And we bash the NFL for being inconsistent!

K.No Finish 'Em said...

@David Godfrey thats the point and reason why Roger Goodell should step down. He didn't ask for the video and/or didn't have the NFL security patrol ask the casino or Ray Rice's attorney for the video. The point is that Roger should have done it. The reason why he shouldn't step down is not because he have not seen the video or not able to obtain the video. It's because he did not ask for the video from a credible source, which is not only the law enforcement involve, but also the casino, in which the video was taken. Had he done that, he would have given Ray a sterner punishment. Now the video was made public so he have no choice but to do something that he should have done from jump street. Roger Goodell was at fault for handling this incorrectly and might have a lawsuit coming if Ray Rice and family decide to go forward with it.

Concerned American said...

It is refreshing to see that the folks can tell when a person is lying, I was starting to worry that we lost our senses since Obama has been doing the same thing for five years and the left hasn't called him on it.

Garth Vader said...

It's good to see the Observer Ed Board exhibit such a strong moral compass rather than doing something reprehensible like endorsing a President's re-election bid just months after he ordered a drone bomb strike of a wedding party that killed nine children.

Oh, wait...