Goodell at Masters when Rice video arrived

Here’s Roger Goodell, in relatively sedate times at Augusta National in April (AP photo)

Here's Roger Goodell, in relatively sedate times at Augusta National in April (AP photo)

Here’s Roger Goodell, in relatively sedate times at Augusta National in April (AP photo)

Please don’t bother Roger Goodell with your unfounded claims that he ignored the Ray Rice video. He was at Augusta National at the time, wearing a green blazer and possibly debating the merits of the pimento cheese sandwiches.

Here, you see a photo of Goodell attending a practice round for the Masters on Wednesday April 9, the day the Associated Press reports a copy of the elevator security tape showing Rice punching his wife was delivered to the NFL’s offices in New York.

Goodell had recently become a member of the Augusta National Golf Club. Either that or he has really poor taste in sports jackets.

Now, as Yahoo’s Jay Busbee points out, “When you’re headed out of town on vacation, the mail can pile up.”

So, you know, things can get misplaced.

But seriously . . .

I’d like to believe former FBI director Robert Mueller III, who is heading the NFL’s “investigation” into Goodell’s claims that the league never saw and/or wasn’t able to obtain the Rice video before pronouncing judgement, has enough credibility to ignore this relative trivial matter.

It would be bad for Goodell to go with, “The Pimento Cheese Defense.”

“But your honor. I’ve heard so much about the pimento cheese sandwiches at Augusta National, I lost my mind and completely forgot about the video.”

Goodell maintains he has no knowledge of anybody in the NFL office having seen the video. The AP reports that a 12-second voicemail from a league office number on April 9 confirmed the video had arrived from an undisclosed law enforcement official.

I’m no judge but that would seem like pretty solid evidence.

Now Goodell is facing questions from members of Congress — and before you shout that Washington should stay out of this, the stature of this domestic violence case and the potential of a coverup by the head of a $9 billion league warrants pressure from D.C.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Wednesday night that news reports suggest a “burgeoning, insurmountable credibility gap” regarding statements by Goodell.

“If these reports are true, commissioner Goodell must go, for the good of the NFL and its fans. The current leadership of the NFL cannot be trusted to fairly, genuinely implement policies that address domestic violence.”

Blumenthal is right. And Goodell is nowhere near Amen Corner now.

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Reader Comments 0

39 comments
FBYJ
FBYJ

Believe it or not, we actually have a viable legal system in this country.  If Ray Rice committed a crime, then it's up to the prosecuting attorney in that district to bring charges against him and have him thrown in jail ... but only after presenting evidence to a jury, allowing Rice to defend himself, and securing a "guilty" verdict from that jury.  As an employer, I do not get involved in the legal problems of my employees ... and I don't think the NFL should get involved in the legal affairs of its employees either.  Likewise, I see absolutely NO REASON for Congress to get involved with this case at all.  This is a case for the judicial branch of government, not the legislative branch.


Finally, I agree with many who would prefer to see our two primary sports commentators (Bradley and Schultz) focus more of their attention to the action taking place on the courts and on the fields.  Leave the political commentary for the guys and gals at the political editorial desk.  With only very rare exceptions, the sports section should be reserved for entertainment, not "hard news" reporting.

jeeperscrow
jeeperscrow

@FBYJ Agree 100%. Sick and tired of every single day seeing Schultz and Bradley saying Goodell should be fired and Ferry should be fired and other Hawks owners should go away etc. Let's talk about all the excitement going on ON the field with the Dawgs and Falcons and even the playoff race for the Braves.

Milledge01
Milledge01

Update: NBA All-Star Paul George chose to offer via Twitter some opinions that seem to downplay the gravity of Ray Rice choosing to beat his fiancé unconscious. Subsequently, Larry Bird chose to rebuke George.

Milledge01
Milledge01

Someone please present a cogent argument as to why the federal government should be involved in this matter.

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@Milledge01 You're kidding right? It is bigger than just a man that assaulted a woman.

Potential coverup by the commissioner of the most watched league in the land.

It also involves a horrible crime. When the gov't sends you a video, you are automatically involved. 

I want the federal gov't government involved in big business corruption.

The NFL is a multi billion dollar business.   

Who else is going to make sure they do the right thing?

The NFL doesn't have much competition. So there is nobody to watch over their shoulder.  



Milledge01
Milledge01

@WhiskeyBreath @Milledge01 Not kidding at all. Think about it: why should the United States government have any say re: the punishment handed out by the NFL? What business is it of the US government whether the NFL viewed the tape previously? Or whether Roger Goodell is lying? And what is the "right thing" that you're referring to, and why should the US government get to decide what the "right thing" is? If Goodell is lying, it's something the NFL owners have the responsibility to handle. If you or I or the bully of this blog pulpit doesn't like what the NFL does, then we have the power of deciding to not consume their product. It's that simple: if you consume, you condone.

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@Milledge01 @WhiskeyBreath Milledge01 , I understand where you are coming from but Jeff told us to keep the politics out of this.

I used to have the similar opinion about Gov't getting involved in business.

However, you can't get around the fact there was a crime involved and the accused works for the NFL. Pretty hard to separate the two in the name of keeping  gov't out of our lives. Besides, we lost that right 50 or 60 years ago.     

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

This kind of reminds me of a Seinfeld episode. When George Costanza would start one of his many schemes and it didn't turn out the way he liked, it made him real mad. 

George was funny as hell when he got mad.  

Milledge01
Milledge01

What Ray Rice did to his fiancée was horrific.

jschultz
jschultz moderator

Deleting all comments that wish to stir up a Left vs. Right debate. You also risk banning. Stick to the subject and consider yourself warned.

Milledge01
Milledge01

Don't advertise if you don't want people to buy, Jeff.

Milledge01
Milledge01

For those of you wondering what subject you should stick to, you're supposed to ignore the intended but not explicitly and courageously stated subject of the article, but instead focus on two unrelated facts: Ray Rice knocked a woman unconscious because he wanted to and could, and Roger Goodell attended the Masters because he wanted to and could. Two men made their own choices, and they were unrelated.

Brent22
Brent22

@jschultz  Jeff, I very much enjoy your columns and have stated that on many occasions. I think your wit and insight are refreshing. I expressed an opinion that I thought you and Mr Bradley spent too much time writing about social ills this week and not enough on sports and I'm threatened with banishment? Very disappointing.

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

@jschultz Maybe you shouldn't write a check that you cant cash. This is not the first time you've painted your self in a corner.

JD101
JD101

Schultz - again....  With the irresponsible journalism. 


The most obnoxious comment you make is in reference to the 'stature' of this domestic violence case - in some way indicating that this case is more important than other cases of domestic violence?   The appalling video certainly makes it much more impactful and thus an easier target for the media feeding frenzy - but ONLY because it's great to talk about and drive eyeballs.  


Where was the outrage on your part for the Greg Hardy case?  I don't recall the article calling for the Panther's to cut Greg Hardy? I know you stated that Hardy should be the Falcons first call in FA - so maybe you have a special place.  But it is certainly possible that Hardy is a much greater threat to women in general, than Ray Rice, given the details of his case.      Shouldn't the Panthers cut Greg Hardy also?  Maybe we should also remove Kirby Puckett's bust from the HOF?  


The media has created a lynch mob mentality with it's 6-hour hyperbole cycle?   Again, the video is appalling and Ray Rice should undoubtedly be suspended for a significant amount of time until ALL details are released. However, the rants, diatribes and self-righteous pontificating by you and others does more to contribute to the problem then actually focusing on the larger issue of domestic violence.  Maybe researching and talking to professional/experts then writing about how it plays out in the hyper-competitive culture of professional sports, and maybe how to 'fix' the problem -  now that would be an article worth reading.  

Noclevername
Noclevername

And if we really want to sling arrows here...what about our justice system?  They had that tape and he gets counseling?  If that had been you or I boyos that would not have been the case.  Seems like they tried to sweep it under the rug a little to help a celebrity/athelete out.  And this mess about her refusing to testify doesn't float either.  Domestic violence laws were long ago changed to make it unnecessary for the victim to testify as too many victims refused to testify out of fear of retribution from their abusers.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

OH MY! Not hiding under the shroud of blocked comments on this one, Schultzie?


"the stature of this domestic violence case and the potential of a coverup by the head of a $9 billion league "


Are you accusing the NFL of influencing the police investigation and legal process? Is there any evidence supporting this?


"the NFL cannot be trusted to fairly, genuinely implement policies that address domestic violence"


Are you SERIOUS? Do you READ what you write before you post it?

BigEnosBurdette
BigEnosBurdette

Jeff,


Why shouldn't he be at the Masters? Tens of thousands of others were there that day as well, were they all bad people too? Smells of petty envy.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@GT71 @slydawg 

Somebody doesn't understand the 1st Amendment.

If you want to print whatever you want in a newspaper start one. Want to post whatever you want on-line - start you own blog.

slydawg
slydawg

Take any American citizen over age 35 and make them commissioner of the NFL. I wonder who would be completely honest and transparent?

slydawg
slydawg

All this is absolutely ridiculous and soap opera drama. Are we really learning anything new here about the conduct and plausible deniability of a multibillion dollar corporation? Every last person here and all true fans of football would have tuned in on Sunday anyway. So they bring in a boys club member in Mueller in order to appear to be unbiased. Goodell will resign, and you will get another puppet. And we'll continue to look at the NFL and the NFL will continue to protect the shield. Case closed.

Redfin
Redfin

-And why shouldn't Goodell be at the Masters?  Do some believe he didn't have a right to be there?  Had Rices' girlfriend/wife filed charges against him,  he could have been charged with assault........she didn't and to this day defends him (Rice).   So now it's the right of "NOW", Media outlets and even the federal govt to exact justice in this situation.  This is the biggest Non-Story, blown out of proportion, piece of crap journalism to come out his year.  A typical product of progressive socialism.

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

And while Congress is at it, please remove the NFL's tax exempt status.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

The pimento cheese sandwich gave him a bad case of the guts! He has perfect cause as to why he did not receive the tape!

DrPhill
DrPhill

Goodell did see Rice drag his unconscious future wife out of the elevator like a sack of potatoes and kick her in an attempt to revive her. I don't see that the second video adds much. It appears to me that Goodell's newfound moral outrage is nothing more than a reaction to cover his earlier wink and a nod to the Ravens' owner.

BRAVES2143
BRAVES2143

FIrst Goodell says "they wouldn't give us the tape" and then it was "we never got the tape" and now it's  "we never watched the tape".   Chances are someone at the NFL HQ watched the tape prior to the 2 game suspension and chances are Goodell saw the tape too but is that enough to get rid of the guy that has made so much money for the NFL owners?  Probably not.  If Goodell would have just came out and said we were wrong and made a mistake with the suspension and not tried to cover it up none of this would be an issue right now. 

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@BRAVES2143 So what is your problem? We Americans make it up as we go.

You shut down B.S.,  you shut down business. An that is anti American. 


Noclevername
Noclevername

Oh yes and watching golf instead of sitting in your office waiting for the mail is a far worse offense than playing golf while an American citizen is being beheaded or ignoring the fact that an American serviceman is rotting in a Mexican jail while illegal immigrants that are convicted felons are being released on our streets.  I know this is a sports column, Jeff, and I have no problem with you reporting it.  I DO have a problem with congress wasting valuable time and taxpayer money dealing with it.  They have much bigger fish to fry if they would just get to it.  All the rest is bread and circuses and unfortunately most of America just eats it up.

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

@Noclevername Got to side with Jeff on this one.

:Probably need to take your anger to the news page.

We come here to get away from that stuff. Jeff is right. 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

"I have no knowledge of...."

That's a lawyer's answer if ever I heard one. He didn't want to know. 

I wonder who will be the first NL scapegoat in this one?  My money is on the NFL Security Director.  Doubtless Goodell will have an interview with one of the media lapdogs (Chris Berman?) explaining how horrified he is to learn that "mistakes were made", "I trusted my experts", etc

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

Beyond the misplacement of the video of Ray Rice actually hitting his future wife, we ALL knew what happened as we ALL saw video of him dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. Why does  this new video change things? This is why Goodell needs to step down and why the Ravens must answer, in some way, their culpability in all of this as well. If you are not going to tolerate domestic violence, then Rice should have been cut and suspended when the first video came to light. This new video should not change things as the outcome is the same. He hit his wife hard enough to knock her out. 


Goodell must go.


Advice to Ray Rice.....Get you one of them inflatable dolls. They can't call the cops if you have to smack them around.

OH-IO
OH-IO

A $9B league pales in comparison to an $18T debt. 

OH-IO
OH-IO

I'd go with Ham and Cheese