Since TMZ release the complete footage of Ray Rice formerly of the Baltimore Ravens punching his then fiancé in the face in Atlantic City the NFL has been facing some tough criticism. With the complete footage came additional discipline action for Ray and the many around America are looking to for discipline action for the Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The commissioner told CBS News on Tuesday that he was sickened by what he saw on a newly released video that showed Rice knocking out his now-wife with a ferocious punch, but insisted that Monday was the first time he or anyone in NFL headquarters had seen the full scope of the February incident.
According to CNN When asked did he really need to see a video of the brutal knockout punch to decide on the length of Rice’s punishment, the commissioner said, “No.”
“What we saw in the first videotape was troubling to us in and of itself,” Goodell said, referring to another video that surfaced in February after the incident, showing Rice dragging his fiancee, Janay, out of the elevator. “But what we saw yesterday was extremely clear. It was extremely graphic and it was sickening.”
The new footage from inside an Atlantic City hotel elevator prompted Goodell to suspend the veteran player indefinitely.
It also made many sports commentators even angrier about the league’s botched reaction to the incident — an initial two-game suspension for Rice — something Goodell has admitted he didn’t get right.
Outspoken ESPN personality Keith Olbermann called Goodell an “enabler of men who beat women” and demanded the commissioner resign or be fired.
“Mr. Goodell’s ineptitude has not merely rendered this football season meaningless and irrelevant by contrast, it has not only reduced supporting or watching football to a distasteful, even a disrespectful act, but most importantly it has comforted the violent and afflicted the victim,” Olbermann opined Monday.
“His push to increase NFL punishment of domestic abusers to roughly that one-third that of repeat pot smokers, his decision today to suspend Rice indefinitely, after the Ravens had fired him, are elements of classic tragedy, wherein the right thing is finally done only after it’s too late to matter.”
San Francisco Chronicle sport columnist Ann Killion agreed.
“Roger Goodell should follow Rice out the door — his leadership has no integrity and no longer can be trusted by the public. He should resign,” she wrote.
Goodell told CBS that the league assumed an in-elevator video existed and asked law enforcement for it, but was never given the opportunity to view it. It wasn’t until Monday, when he arrived at the office and staffers told him there was something he needed to see, that he viewed the video.
Former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels, in a column posted on Football by Football, blamed Goodell for a colossal failure, but didn’t call for him to step down.
“Roger Goodell is powerful. He is connected. He has unlimited resources at his disposal. He can make things happen. He didn’t do his job. He failed in epic proportions,” Rosenfels wrote.
In a tweet, the former player wrote of suspending Rice indefinitely: “Roger Goodell made $44 million last year to make really difficult decisions. This was an easy one.”
Goodell has admitted that his initial two-game suspension of Rice was the wrong decision. He said so when he announced a new policy penalizing acts of violence like domestic abuse or sexual assault.
The new rules meant a minimum six-game ban, but the penalty didn’t apply to Rice’s case.
The policy was greeted with commendations, but the fact that Rice was going to be back in uniform soon even though the league knew he had knocked Janay Rice unconscious drew loud condemnation.
The criticism intensified after the new video surfaced Monday.
“Goodell elected himself the league’s top cop. Is he Barney Fife?” wrote ESPN’s Jason Whitlock. “Did he not talk to the police or hotel security personnel who saw the tape?”
Goodell told CBS that he wasn’t going to step down and that criticism was an everyday part of the position.