Will the NFL fire league commissioner Roger Goodell if he doesn’t resign following the release of the graphic video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee unconscious in an elevator back in February? Goodell suspended Rice just two games upon learning of the incident, yet, after he claims he saw the video for the first time earlier this week, Goodell decided to suspend Rice indefinitely after the Ravens terminated his contract. While Goodell may say that he pushed to acquire the video before but only finally saw it for the first time on Monday, many find that hard to believe.
Remember, this is a man who did everything to get the video of the New England Patriots taping the warm-ups of the New York Jets in the Spygate scandal. He had no difficulty obtaining video footage of New Orleans Saints players asking to get paid for knocking Brett Favre out of a game in the Bountygate scandal. Yet, we are supposed to believe that he could not get video evidence in a brutal, domestic violence case? Seriously?
We are also talking about a man who suspended Albert Haynesworth five games for stomping on a defenseless player on the ground. That was during play. Terrelle Pryor was given a five game suspension for his involvement in the Ohio State Tattoogate scandal. That involved a college student-athlete receiving tattoos in exchange for memorabilia.
Then, we take a look at the actual crimes that involve violence away from the gridiron. Michael Vick was initially suspended just two games for his involvement in dog fighting. Ben Roethlisberger was given just six games for his violation of the league’s conduct policy (that was later reduced to just four games), and that involved the quarterback in a sexual assault complaint. Cedric Benson was dealt a three game suspension for a misdemeanor assault charge.
Where are the commissioner’s priorities? Spying on practice is the worst offense possible, yet assault and battery is not that bad? Receiving free tattoos in exchange for a jersey or autograph is worse than a player sexually or physically abusing a woman? Leveling a hard hit against another player on the field draws a bigger punishment than the brutalization of innocent and defenseless animals?
When is it enough? In my opinion, the time is now. Goodell must be removed from power. He must either be fired or be asked to resign. The bottom line is that Goodell must go.