There are so many aspects of the Ray Rice debacle that absolutely have to be addressed. But for me one of the first is this: Roger Goodell, the presiding chief of the NFL. This is the man that was quoted in The Huffington Post as implying that
“that the NFL had not seen the explicit video before it was released by TMZ on Monday.”
I believe him and here is why. If the NFL never truly asked for the surveillance it would give them the best end around play: Plausible Deniability.
“We had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the elevator,” Goodell responded when asked if the NFL knew about the elevator video prior to Monday. “We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. We asked for anything that’s pertinent. But we were never granted that opportunity.”
Until the video was released by TMZ the (lack of) NFL leadership COULD have said, “Well ya know… we don’t doubt that something happened on that elevator. But it could have been Rice shoved his fiancee toward the wall of the elevator where she bumped her head a little and was disoriented. Sorta like she was knocked out… and then Rice just tugged her hair a little to get her attention. Don’t get us wrong, that was a terrible thing for the up and coming super star to and warrants severe consequences.”
Yeah. In July Ray Rice was levied with a 2 game suspension and fined the following week’s game’s pay.
But bad news for the NFL commissioner, with the release of the security camera video, that defense of the light punishment evaporated. Time to do an about face, Roger. Two days ago Goodell indefinitely suspended Rice after the Baltimore Ravens released him from the team.
But today another 180 by the good commish: Asked on CBS if Rice could return, Goodell said it’s possible. “I don’t rule that out. But he would have to make sure that we are fully confident that he is addressing this issue. Clearly, he has paid a price for the actions that he’s already taken,” Goodell said.
Are you fuckin’ kidding me?
One in every four women will be a victim of domestic violence during their lifetime. Twenty-five per cent of women have reason to be fearful in their own home. We need to end Violence Against Women here and now. The place to start is where young impressionable men find many of their role models, i.e., professional sports. And that starts with the sports leagues’ leadership. If gambling on league games results in indefinite suspension, sure as hell perpetrating violence in one’s home should result in disqualification. Permanently. Period.
Maybe then young men would think that roughing up others remains only on the playing field.
Roger Goodell, you have shown by your actions that you do not truly, honestly believe that domestic violence is an issue with the players in the NFL. As such, the most graceful thing you can do is resign and make room for someone who does.