Roger Goodell has benefitted from the success of his predecessors in Paul Tagliabue and Pete Rozelle. Both former commissioners created parity by coming up with a salary cap that would give 32 teams chance to win a championship. He also benefitted from great players in his league.
In other words, Goodell has done nothing since being a NFL commissioner in 2006. Sure, he promised to protect the shield by handling out discipline, but that proved to be hollow when he gave Ray Rice only a two-game suspension for beating his then-fiancée Janay Palmer and not suspending Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald for beating their respective girlfriends along with not suspending Adrian Peterson for beating couple of his kids.
It’s interesting the inept commissioner has not spoken to the media in nine days now since his interview with CBS News’ Nora O’Donnell. It’s funny he did not attend the 49ers’ first regular season game at Levi’s Stadium this past Sunday. He did not even attend an award ceremony in North Carolina last week, which he was supposed to give an award to Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.
Goodell has congratulated himself for the success of his support, but with everything that has gone on lately in the NFL, he has been in hiding mode.
His inability to discipline the guys that has created news along with him not handling the crisis by not talking to the media should be enough to convinced him to be forced out. Either that or he should resign gracefully. It’s hard to believe Tagliabue or Rozelle or any competent commissioner would be hiding in times like this.
Goodell is not the right guy for this league anymore. If he does not take bold action on Rice, Hardy, McDonald and Peterson, he has no business being a commissioner. Anyone doing criminal things would be either fired or suspended by their employer. For him and NFL teams to not suspend the star players, it sends a wrong message.
For the NFL commissioner to only suspend Rice for two games, it’s embarrassing. Rice should have not played this season after beating his wife. There should be harsher consequences for anyone that beat his wife. Athletes can’t be held to a double standard like your average guy. The troubled running back needed to be at home and work on building a better relationship with his wife. Football should be the least of his issues.
Goodell was better off not suspending Rice if he was going to be this lenient. Thankfully, TMZ video of Rice beating his fiancée made it enough for the beleaguered commissioner to suspend him indefinitely. It should have never gotten to that point, and the commissioner shouldn’t be commended for doing the right thing when all of this could have been avoided.
This was incompetence at its finest. This is not what a leader should be doing. What’s damning is Goodell knew about the video, but decided to be involved by covering it up. He wanted to protect Rice. For a commissioner that covered up for a star player, that’s enough for him to be fired.
How about this joke of a commissioner not suspending Hardy despite evidences that he assaulted and harassed his girlfriend? This is not something he should have done. It’s disgusting that the Panthers linebacker get to play. This is another wrong message that the commissioner sent.
Using due process is a copout to defend the reasoning of not suspending Hardy. When there is evidence on what Hardy did, there’s no reason to have him playing. That is wrong. By having him play, it sends a message that it’s okay to hit women and get away with it. This is where the commissioner failed women and everyone by not taking action on Hardy.
As for Peterson, it’s remarkable Goodell did not suspend him in light of him beating his 4-year-old son with a switch. It’s also interesting why the beleaguered commissioner did not have a proactive role of not reinstating the Vikings running back few days ago.
McDonald should have been suspended until he is cleared to play by the courts when it comes to his case. He allegedly is accused of assaulting a woman. How about we use due process by having him sit until everything comes out? That’s what Goodell should have done.
For Goodell to do nothing, it’s clear now he has no credibility with the public and the players. He is nothing more than a lackey to the owners. His bosses tell him what to do, and he listens. It’s a good bet he was told by his superiors not to suspend their respective players.
What we learned here is the owners run the league, not the commissioner. This is why the owners are more than happy to not want Goodell leave because they know he will listen to them unlike Tagliabue and Rozelle. In a way, the owners are the problem. They enabled this nonsense where they tell the commissioner not to suspend players that help their teams to win.
What the NFL needs is a guy who knows the game and who can relate better to players and owners. A guy who will take charge. That would be Mike Holmgren, who has had influence with owners and players. He can connect better with both parties. He has a good understanding about the game, and he is one guy who can offer swift discipline.
It sure isn’t Goodell anymore. He needs to do the right thing by resigning on his own volition or some owners need to take a stand and get him out.
This idea Goodell transformed the league into a billion dollar industry is a myth. The players have had more impact in the league’s success than him. The league will survive without him.
He should be expendable and accountable.
Someone has to pay the price for what has gone on lately in the NFL.
Contact or Follow Leslie Monteiro: @LightRodWriter