Both Goodell and the NFL have received hard criticism over the past two weeks, after the domestic violence cases that included Ray Rice, former Baltimore Ravens running back, Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers defensive end, Ray McDonald, San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman and Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings running back.
It’s difficult to deal with such cases objectively, especially when they’re happening in the spotlight. After Peterson was reinstated on Monday, Radisson Hotels broke off its partnership with the Vikings, causing a change of hearts that ended with Peterson being placed on the exempt/commissioner’s list. The Panthers also used the exemption on Hardy as he awaits trial.
In light of all these scandals, Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, agreed to speak publicly for the first time during a press conference and address the NFL’s attitude towards these domestic violence cases.
From the very beginning, Goodell took full responsibility for how each case was handled and stated that he had gone wrong when dealing with the situation. He then told reporters that the NFL can’t hope to solve every issue surrounding domestic violence alone and that the league has therefore taken on two partners (the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center) in hopes that they can shape a correct violence policy.
Additionally, outside experts will be brought in according to Goodell, so that players, coaches and team administrators can become educated on domestic violence. He hopes that with these positive influences, new standards of personal conduct can arise. New rules will also be implemented, according to Goodell, and a “conduct committee” will be created so that these rules are properly enforced. All these modifications and conduct policies should be enforced until the Super Bowl, Goodell said.
When asked about the Ray Rice video, Goodell told reporters that both he and the league had tried to attain the video on several occasions but to no avail. He added that the league was now considering other methods, aside from law enforcement, in order to obtain the footage.
On the question of whether he had thought of resigning, Goodell answered reporters that he had first thought of bringing the affairs of the league in order. He acknowledged his mistake and did his best to find a solution that would be beneficial long-term.
The Commissioner was also asked about inconsistencies in discipline, to which he answered that the NFL policies need changing and that they were getting help in order to properly change their procedures. He ensured his audience that positive changes would take place at the NFL and that he and his staff are working on regaining the public’s trust.