By Chris Linvill
Ray Rice, former Baltimore Ravens running back, received a two-game suspension after a video was released of him dragging his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator in the Revel Casino and Hotel in February. The video was released right before the NFL preseason started.
While NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was being scrutinized for administering such a light sentence, a second video from inside the elevator was released, which showed Rice punching and knocking Palmer out. Goodell then placed Rice on indefinite suspension and the Baltimore Ravens released Rice from the team.
Goodell claimed he had no knowledge of the video from inside the elevator, but multiple sources insist that Goodell did have knowledge of the full situation and that there were many other instances for which he should have taken bigger actions against Rice.
One anonymous source from the Associated Press said that Goodell received more information from a voice mail that was left for him and multiple sources from ESPN said that Goodell was told the truth by Rice himself.
What is more disturbing is that TMZ got the video before the NFL. If the NFL actually had access to the video first then it seems like a cover up to everyone else.This puts the NFL in a tough situation when it comes to their reputation. Right after week one of the NFL regular season, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted for beating his 4-year old son with a switch, which led to the Vikings suspending him for only one game at first.
A similar case occurred when the NFL failed to recognize that Peterson was accused of beating another son who was 4 in June 2013. Peterson was then put on the Vikings Exempt List, which prevents Peterson from participating in team activities until he legal proceedings are dealt with. Recent incidents seem to be part of an ongoing pattern of inconsistent sentences implemented by Goodell.
In November 2008, Goodell sentenced Plaxico Burress to just a four game suspension after Burress shot himself in the leg with a semiautomatic pistol. Burress was sentenced to 20 months in prison on a weapon charge, so how could he only be suspended for four games after something so serious. However, Burress’ team the New York Giants released him from the team.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault on two different occasions but was never charged with anything nor did any authorities get involved. But this didn’t stop Goodell from suspending Roethlisberger for four games.It’s clear that Goodell needs to do something to change the leagues policy and start making better decisions regarding the NFL’s punishments or his days as the NFL commissioner could be numbered.
The NFL is a business and is based on making money just like every other business. The NFL stands to lose a lot of money if sponsors start taking action against NFL because of the way things are headed.
Goodell is not looking good to the public but still has support from some Players in the NFL like Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall defendedGoodelltothemediaandbrought up how he changed his bad past and that Goodell could also help other players by setting up programs to help players that have struggles in their life.
But should someone with so much controversy in less than 10 years be allowed to be in charge of a league with so much influence in today’s society, especially with the players being role models to a younger generation? Punishments for domestic abuse should increase significantly, otherwise we are giving a message to the youth of America that when you get money anything is ok.
So Mr. Goodell, you have two options: you can resign at commissioner and let someone else try to make things better or you can make an immediate change and make the league not look like a joke.