Friday, September 19, 2014

Dead Man Walking?

Speaking at a Manhattan news conference this afternoon, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell tried unsuccessfully to quell complaints the league has not acted quickly or sufficiently enough to address the issue of domestic violence in the NFL.   At least 14 players have been arrested for violence against women in the past two years alone.

Many news outlets have described Goodell's appearance as an elaborate kicking of the can down the road.  Goodell said that, despite mistakes, he believes that he has the support of team owners. He said he has not considered stepping down “because I acknowledged my mistakes.”

The news conference came upon the heels of Procter & Gamble's announcement that it was canceling an on-field breast cancer awareness promo it had been planning with NFL.  P&G joined a long list of displeased advertisers, including Anheuser-Busch, McDonald's, Visa, FedEx, Nike, and Campbell Soup Co. The NFL responded to the drumbeat of criticism like a unrepentant teenager, saying in a statement, “We understand. We are taking action and there will be much more to come.”

Goodell vowed to have a new policy in place by the time of the Super Bowl . . . or maybe it was a vow to have the committee that would develop the policy in place by the time of the Super Bowl . . . I'm not sure, since Goodell seemed to say both in the course of his rambling, robotic and insincere performance.

I laughed out loud when Goodell admitted that he now knows that when investigating a domestic violence case, not to interview the victim while the man who beat her also is in the room.  In other clunker moment,  Goodell continued to maintain that no one at NFL HQ had seen the second Rice video before its release by TMZ-- despite evidence and law enforcement testimony otherwise.  Incredibly, Goodell even went so far to try and blame the NFL's inconsistent treatment of domestic violence on differing laws among the fifty states.  I won't even bother to try and explain that convoluted logic.

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