The NFL appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to lend some credibility and provide a thorough investigation into the handling of the Ray Rice case.
They apparently wanted a quick one, too.
During a discussion at Marquette Law School yesterday, Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said the outcome of the investigation could help the league begin to heal some of the damage sustained by Commissioner Roger Goodell over the last few months.
“We’ll see,” Murphy said, via Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think Roger has done some good things, particularly on the domestic violence front. . . . To me a key, key, key is going to be the investigation . . . . To see what that shows. We have an owners’ meeting coming up next week in New York. The hope was the investigation would be completed by then. Whether or not it [will be] I don’t know.”
Considering Mueller was appointed on Sept. 10, that’s a quick turnaround for an investigation that needs to be especially thorough.
And Murphy made his own case for the damage done, saying the aftermath of the Rice situation is the biggest crisis the league has faced since he played in the 1970s.
“I do think the credibility of the league has been challenged,” Murphy said. “I think we have taken a real hit in terms of credibility, respect. I don’t think it is fatal. But people have lost a little respect for the league. . . .
“The league has been so successful . . . I think when you stumble a little bit, people are eager to, are quick to criticize. Quite honestly, I have great respect for Roger. I think he has done a lot of really good things for the league. But when your compensation is $44 million, some people look at that and say they are out of touch with the rest of society. And then when you do err, when you do make a mistake, I think it is very easy for people to really turn on you.”
That’s happened, as the NFL may be slow to realize. And a rushed investigation might only add to the discontent, especially if it comes back saying the league did nothing wrong.