In NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s first public pronouncement in 10 days he admitted he made a mistake originally when he suspended Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice for two games during his press conference carried live on ESPN today Friday, Sept. 19. Goodell has since suspended the Raven indefinitely after two videotapes have become available involving an incident on an elevator between Rice and his then fiancee. She is now his wife.
In a recent poll 82% of fans say they will continue to watch NFL football regardless of the recent reports of domestic violence allegations surfacing against several players. Former New England player and current ESPN analyst Teddy Brewski called for Goodell to resign as commissioner. The National Organization for Women (NOW) has also sought his resignation.
Goodell earns $44 million annually from the owners who are his bosses. And it is the 32 owners who have the power to decide whether or not he will stay in his position. Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones supported the embattled Goodell when he said he had the backing of “100% of the owners.”
Brewski appeared angry that Goodell had suspended New Orleans coach Sean Payton for one year for his role in the Bountygate Controversy. Brewski said Goodell should impose some punishment on himself to be consistent.
Goodell made a 43-minute presentation in Manhattan today and responded to questions. He admitted he “got it wrong.”
He also said on Aug. 28 “I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter and I apologize for that. But now I will get it right. And do whatever is necessary to do that.”
He was asked if he’d considered resigning. He said that he had not. He said “we’ve acknowledged we need to make changes.” He further said the personnel conduct policy will be reviewed.
He has called in former FBI director Robert Mueller to conduct an investigation in the NFL’s handling of the matter. He also said he was working with two women’s domestic violence organizations to deal with the domestic violence explosion which has threatened to engulf the NFL.
ESPN analyst Jane McManus criticized Goodell for not answering more questions regarding when the NFL received a videotape of the Rice elevator incident.
Several ESPN analysts called for Goodell to fine himself at the very least in the wake of his press conference.
Goodell said his “goal was to complete the investigation by the Super Bowl.”
Jason Whitlock said he believed the owners were disappointed with Goodell, but angry with the players on ESPN today. He said the owners were angry for having to pay Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy for doing nothing. He also said the sponsors were angry.
Andrew Brandt, business analyst, said the teams could be taking action. It wasn’t just up to Goodell. Brandt mentioned the Dolphins had suspended a player for four games last year on their own.
Whitlock said, “I think the players’ union has less leverage now.” He further said the ownership is saying, “We can’t trust the players not to get into trouble.”
Brandt said the players’ union has never had a seat at the table for player personal policy. Demoris Smith, union chief, now has a seat at the table.
ESPN’s McManus said the players should consider negotiating guaranteed contracts for themselves in return for a stricter personal policy contract.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter criticized Goodell for not either fining or suspending himself. He did say he thought the owners strongly “were in Roger Goodell’s corner. There is not a lot Roger can do to recapture the public’s trust.”
Sportswriter Frank Isola said on ESPN’s Around The Horn he thought Goodell’s job was safe, saying, “New York owner Mara and Pittsburgh owner Rooney are heading up the investigation. They were big supporters of Goodell to get the job originally.”
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