NFL·On the hot seat

Roger Goodell: Should NFL commissioner resign?

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has come under fire for his (mis)handling of the Ray Rice case. Is it time for Goodell to step aside?

League boss under fire for handling of Ray Rice case

Former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III will conduct probe into league conduct. 3:05

When Roger Goodell indefinitely suspended Ray Rice on Monday hours after a TMZ video showing him hitting then-fiancée — now his wife —​ Janay Rice, in the face and knocking her unconscious, the NFL commissioner was hoping the entire episode would soon fade.

After all, the Ravens also cut ties with the running back that same day.

But the situation has been unravelling at his feet ever since.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that a law enforcement official said he sent the second video of Rice punching her to an NFL executive five months ago.

ESPN reported Thursday that Rice admitted to punching Janay Rice in an Atlantic City elevator when the two met with Goodell on June 16.

Goodell came under heavy criticism for originally suspending Rice only two games a month later. 

But this is what Goodell told CBS during an interview:

"We had not seen any video tape of what occurred in the elevator. We assumed that there was a video, we asked for the video, we asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity."

Goodell also said that in his meeting with Rice, the running back was "ambiguous about what actually happened."

The league has appointed an independent investigator — FBI director Robert S. Mueller — to conduct a probe into how NFL handled evidence.

If it’s revealed that an NFL executive did indeed receive and view the video, Goodell would be expected to plead ignorance in the matter.

But, funny, that’s the exact plea he rejected from the New Orleans Saints during the bounty scandal in 2012.

In a letter to the organization, Goodell told coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis that “ignorance is not an excuse,” when they claimed they were unaware that then-defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams put out bounties against opposing players.

Payton was suspended for one year, while Loomis was hit with an eight-game ban.

This brings us back to Goodell.

Even if the league’s poobah didn’t view the second video, isn’t he ultimately responsible because he runs the league?

Vote in the poll below and have your say.


Past and present NFL players take Goodell to task on Twitter. 

With files from Associated Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.