It’s no secret that Roger Goodell has completely bungled the Ray Rice situation since the beginning. After seeing the video of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator Goodell chose to suspend Rice for only two games.
The backlash of such a light punishment for such an egregious act was so severe that Goodell issued a statement admitting that he had made a mistake and subsequently completely overhauled the NFL’s rules on how players involved with domestic violence would be punished. He didn’t however change Rice’s two-game suspension.
The very next day the infamous video of Rice actually punching his fiancée, not once but twice, was released and all hell broke loose. The Baltimore Ravens almost immediately terminated Rice’s contract and about 20 minutes later the NFL changed Rice’s two-game suspension to being suspended from the NFL indefinitely.
It wasn’t the video that did Rice in, it was the public’s reaction to it. Goodell claims that no one at the NFL saw the video inside the elevator, a claim that has been disputed by law enforcement officials. The mind boggling issue is why it took that video coming out for Goodell to do the right thing. Even if they hadn’t seen the video of the punch, which is incredibly hard to believe, they did see the video of Rice dragging his completely lifeless fiancée out of the elevator and dropping her to the ground. Did they think he tickled her unconscious?
The National Organization for Women have called for Goodell’s resignation with their #ResignGoodell campaign. That along with the #GoodellMustGo backlash making the social media rounds it seems obvious that Goodell has little to no public support left.
The bottom line is that when he had an opportunity to be a real leader, to standup and do the right thing rather than just being a Yes Man to the NFL owners, he made misstep after misstep and his inability to handle this situation is showing no sign of letting up.
Roger Goodell has one more chance to do the right thing. Goodell needs to admit that he has completely mishandled this situation, acknowledge his many mistakes and resign his position effective immediately. NFL players can’t be the only ones held accountable for their actions. In fact, the commissioner should be held to an even higher standard and hold himself responsible for his own actions, or inaction as the case may be.