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Roger Goodell’s letter to NFL owners on domestic violence

Roger Goodell AP

[Editor’s note:  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent the following letter to all 32 NFL owners today.]

Since becoming Commissioner, my focus has been on ensuring that the NFL is held in the highest regard by our fans, players, business partners, and public authorities.  My commitment has always been to do what is right and to protect the integrity of the game, both now and long into the future.

Recently, we have addressed issues of respect — respect for co-workers, opponents, fans, game officials, and others.  Whether in the context of workplace conduct, advancing policies of diversity and inclusion, or promoting professionalism in all we do, our mission has been to create and sustain model workplaces filled with people of character.  Although the NFL is celebrated for what happens on the field, we must be equally vigilant in what we do off the field.

At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals.  We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence.  We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place.  My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values.  I didn’t get it right.   Simply put, we have to do better.  And we will.

The public response reinforced my belief that the NFL is held to a higher standard, and properly so.  Much of the criticism stemmed from a fundamental recognition that the NFL is a leader, that we do stand for important values, and that we can project those values in ways that have a positive impact beyond professional football.  We embrace this role and the responsibility that comes with it.  We will listen openly, engage our critics constructively, and seek continuous improvement in everything we do. We will use this opportunity to create a positive outcome by promoting policies of respect for women both within and outside of the workplace.  We will work with nationally recognized experts to ensure that the NFL has a model policy on domestic violence and sexual assault.  We will invest time and resources in training, programs and services that will become part of our culture.  And we will increase the sanctions imposed on NFL personnel who violate our policies.

In the past few weeks, I have reviewed all aspects of our Personal Conduct Policy and met with a wide range of experts (several of whom we have been working with for some time), as well as with the NFLPA and many of you. Those discussions will continue. They have helped us to identify a number of steps that will better communicate our position and strengthen our policies on domestic violence and sexual assault.  

These steps are based on a clear, simple principle:  domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong.  They are illegal.  They have no place in the NFL and are unacceptable in any way, under any circumstances.  That has been and remains our policy.

Many of you have done excellent work in this field, both personally and through the efforts of concerned players and your community relations and player engagement departments.  Our goals are to prevent violence, impose appropriate discipline, provide professional support resources when appropriate, and publicly embrace a leadership role on this issue.  

Consistent with that view, I have directed the following actions to reinforce and enhance our policies:

First, we will continue our work with leading experts to expand the scope of our education on domestic violence and sexual assault for all NFL personnel – players and non-players.  This will include enhanced training for entering players through the Rookie Symposium and Rookie Success Program, as well as new programs designed for veteran players and other NFL personnel. All NFL personnel — players and non-players — will receive information about available league resources and local support and advocacy groups in their community.

Second, our club Player Engagement Directors, Human Resource Executives, and other appropriate team personnel will undergo comprehensive training to help them understand and identify risk factors associated with domestic violence and sexual assault. Any person identified as being at risk will be afforded private, confidential assistance.  Persons who decline this assistance will be held accountable for that decision in determining discipline for any subsequent act of domestic violence or sexual assault.  This is a complicated matter and must be approached with care.  We will work with experts to identify strategies based on the most reliable research, recognizing that violence can and does take different forms but generally involves a pattern of coercive behavior.  

Third, we will ensure that the NFL LifeLine and NFL Total Wellness Program are staffed with personnel trained to provide prompt and confidential assistance to anyone at risk of domestic violence or sexual assault – whether as a victim or potential aggressor.  Information regarding these resources will be furnished to all NFL personnel and their families.  Our Player Engagement Directors and Human Resource Executives will meet with team spouses and significant others to ensure that they are aware of the resources available to them as NFL family members, including the ability to seek confidential assistance through independent local resources, as well as through the club or the NFL Total Wellness Program.  In this respect, we will utilize our existing, established telephone and on-line programs, and will communicate the full range of available services to all NFL personnel and their families.

Fourth, the outside groups we met with have emphasized that the NFL can play an important role in communities throughout the nation.  Consistent with that advice, we will expand the educational components in our college, high school and youth football programs that address domestic violence and sexual assault. We will seek to create and promote programs that develop the character of the young men who play, coach or manage our game, emphasizing respect for women and appropriate ways to resolve conflicts.  Outreach efforts embodied in these programs will help young people recognize, establish and maintain healthy relationships.  In our earliest contact with young men, we can communicate our expectations, establish NFL standards of conduct, and stress the responsibility that all men have to adhere to those standards.

Fifth, we recognize that domestic violence and sexual assault are broad social issues, affecting millions of people.  We want our public role to be both constructive and effective.  In the coming months, we will explore meaningful ways to incorporate domestic violence and sexual assault awareness and prevention into our public service work.  We will do this with the assistance of responsible outside organizations and the potential participation of current and former players, coaches and families who have been affected and are willing to speak out.  Actions we take in this respect will be sensitive, thoughtful and will recognize the positive role models and high character presented by so many men in the NFL.  

Finally, and consistent with our Personal Conduct Policy, our own response to domestic violence or sexual assault incidents by NFL personnel will include new elements of evaluation, treatment and family support, as well as enhanced discipline.  We will address these issues fairly and thoughtfully, respecting the rights of all involved and giving proper deference to law enforcement and the courts.  If someone is charged with domestic violence or sexual assault, there will be a mandatory evaluation and, where professionally indicated, counseling or other specialized services.  Effective immediately, violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense, with consideration given to mitigating factors, as well as a longer suspension when circumstances warrant.  Among the circumstances that would merit a more severe penalty would be a prior incident before joining the NFL, or violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child.  A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL; while an individual may petition for reinstatement after one year, there will be no presumption or assurance that the petition will be granted.  These disciplinary standards will apply to all NFL personnel.  

With very few exceptions, NFL personnel conduct themselves in an exemplary way.    But even one case of domestic violence or sexual assault is unacceptable. The reality is that domestic violence and sexual assault are often hidden crimes, ones that are under-reported and under-acknowledged.  The steps we are taking will reinforce our commitment to address this issue constructively.

In addition to focusing on domestic violence and sexual assault, we will continue to maintain strong policies regarding weapons offenses.  We are similarly working to strengthen our response to impaired driving.  We have sought – unsuccessfully – for several years to obtain the NFLPA’s agreement to more stringent discipline for DUI, including mandatory deactivation for the game immediately following an arrest and a minimum two-game suspension for a first violation of law.  We will continue to press our position on this issue in the hope of securing the union’s agreement.

There are three steps that each club should take promptly:  first, post and distribute the attached “Memorandum to All NFL Personnel” to every player under contract to your club; second, ensure that your head coach reviews the information in that notice with his staff and with all your players; and third, share this letter and the attached Memorandum with all members of your organization, including your team president, General Manager, Human Resources Executive, Security Director, and Player Engagement Director.

In the coming weeks, we will contact all clubs on further steps to be taken in support of these initiatives.  I am grateful for the thoughtful advice received from so many of you and for the support that I know you will give to this important work.

MEMORANDUM TO ALL NFL PERSONNEL

Domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong.  They are illegal.  They are never acceptable and have no place in the NFL under any circumstances.  

Our Personal Conduct Policy has long made clear that domestic violence and sexual assault are unacceptable.  We clearly must do a better job of addressing these incidents in the NFL.  And we will.

Earlier today, I sent NFL owners a letter that identified specific actions we will take to improve our response to domestic violence and sexual assault. Those actions include the following:

All NFL Personnel will participate in new and enhanced educational programs on domestic violence and sexual assault.  We will also increase our outreach to college and youth football programs.

Families will receive detailed information about available services and resources, both through the club and independent of the club.  These resources and services will be available to employees and their families on a confidential basis.

Violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence and sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to enhanced discipline.  A first offense will be subject to a suspension of six weeks without pay.  Mitigating circumstances will be considered, and more severe discipline will be imposed if there are aggravating circumstances such as the presence or use of a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child.  A second offense will result in banishment from the league; an offender may petition for reinstatement after one year but there is no assurance that the petition will be granted.  These disciplinary consequences apply to all NFL personnel.

 *   *   *   *   *

If you believe that you or someone you know may be at risk of domestic violence or other misconduct, we strongly encourage you to seek assistance through your club’s director of player engagement, human resources department, the NFL LifeLine or an independent local domestic violence resource.  Help is available and can prevent potentially tragic incidents.                                                                                                 

ROGER GOODELL
COMMISSIONER

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89 Responses to “Roger Goodell’s letter to NFL owners on domestic violence”
  1. jswheeler says: Aug 28, 2014 2:56 PM

    Sounds like a strong message.

  2. MikeisWise says: Aug 28, 2014 2:56 PM

    I’m not surprised that he ends his letters with,

    “GOODELL”

    Sooooo not surprised

  3. coonsqualler says: Aug 28, 2014 2:57 PM

    TOO LATE FOR THAT!!!!

  4. dilberry says: Aug 28, 2014 2:57 PM

    lol @ Goodell

  5. damcmp says: Aug 28, 2014 2:58 PM

    what a crock… this is the same memo that state department of corrections sent out to their wardens!!!!

  6. longhairdontcare66 says: Aug 28, 2014 2:58 PM

    Good- now impose the same on Ray Rice.

  7. jtbsteeler says: Aug 28, 2014 2:58 PM

    Ray Rice rule. Own it.

  8. greenbaydean says: Aug 28, 2014 2:58 PM

    Well done Rodger for admitting mistakes were made and for taking corrective action…

  9. steverolley says: Aug 28, 2014 2:59 PM

    Roger’s World…..

    Josh Gordon is out for a year for smoking weed

    Ray Rice is out for 2 games for punching out his wife and dragging her on camera

  10. richmondbolt says: Aug 28, 2014 3:02 PM

    Too long.

  11. Ben Jackson says: Aug 28, 2014 3:02 PM

    And so, The “Ray Rice Rule” is born.

    Too little, too late-but a step in the right direction.

  12. maestro1899 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:02 PM

    This still doesn’t change how wrong it is to suspend Josh Gordon for the year.

    It is so wrong what the NFL is doing to Josh Gordon. SO WRONG.

    Is the NFL above science and medical facts now? Judge, jury, executioner…and Surgeon General??

    FACT: Marijuana stays in the user for 30 days or more.

    FACT: Josh has passed over 70 tests, or more than 1x/week.

    FACT: THC in the body via second hand smoke doesn’t register as high and doesn’t stay in the body as long as if a user consumed MJ.

    FACT: The NFL’s archaic acceptable level is 15 NG. Josh had 2 samples, one at 16, one at 13.8, the “average” of which was below the 15ng limit.

    FACT: By Josh having to take more than 1 test a week, other tests would have come back positive if he was, in fact, using marijuana.

    FACT: The Olympics and MLB raised their acceptable marijuana levels because their research and doctors know that second-hand smoke can register 15ng.

    FACT: The NFL was willing to raise their acceptable THC level to 100ng if the players would agree to HGH testing because they know that 15 ng is too low, but the players wouldn’t agree to it because they don’t want Goodell being “judge, jury and executioner” for HGH violations, so it never passed (hmmmmm….I wonder why??)

    In summary, people like the ex-alcoholic Cris Carter needs to get educated before they start babbling about how Josh “needs help”. The guy passed 70 tests! He doesn’t need “help”. He’s perfectly fine.

    He is not obviously not using MJ, or else another of the 70+ tests he passed would have come back positive. He got ROYALLY SCREWED OVER.

    This has nothing to do with “marijuana should be legal and not punished by the NFL” (which is true)

    This has everything to do with the body’s physiology and medical science.

    Roger Goodell: Judge, Jury, Executioner and Surgeon General. I think that’s fiiting.

  13. rymexico says: Aug 28, 2014 3:03 PM

    What a Jerk….the only reason this comes out today is the fact that yesterday Gordon got a 16 game ban for weed….and in light of that puinishment, Goodell got backlash in regards to the punishment he just gave Rice( 2 games) for knocking his GF out. Way to CYA Goodell. It’s a shame that it took fan backlash for you to get it right. I think to make things fair, Josh Gordon and Ray Rice’s wife should both get free shots at your jaw.

  14. dfried119 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:03 PM

    do i even need to read this to say: too little too late

  15. glb020971 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:04 PM

    I am sorry but this is the stupidest thing the NFL has ever done!!!!! Once again a woman has the upper hand. Domestic Violence should never happen. Man on woman, woman on man it shouldn’t never happen but woman will use this again players. A player or man is guilty as soon as the law is called. This will be a problem for players

  16. honkerdawg says: Aug 28, 2014 3:05 PM

    Better late then never, at least Goodell admits he got it wrong and is putting EVERYONE on notice that the league will get it right in the future. Domestic violence has no place in any walk of life and should be punished severely

  17. bucsmightbegood says: Aug 28, 2014 3:05 PM

    Thank you for dismissing Josh Gordon, for an entire season, but Ray Rice can drag a woman off of an elevator and only get two games.

    This ruling sucks, as do your blackout rules.

    Thanks, Roger, doing great work for 32 billionaires while leaving the everyday fan out to dry.

  18. phillygreen20 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:06 PM

    Why didn’t he write this letter earlier? To little, to late.

  19. bradygirl12 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:08 PM

    How could he not know that a 2 game suspension for Ray Rice would not go over well?
    It’s great that the punishment will be a bit harsher,but this took way too long. I believe Goodell just caved in to the pressure rather than actually cares about women.

  20. bobsnygiants says: Aug 28, 2014 3:08 PM

    he’s late again.

  21. glb020971 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:08 PM

    Goodell screw up on the Rice situation now he is trying to make good by coming up with this dumb rule. Where is the player union?

  22. mharjo says: Aug 28, 2014 3:11 PM

    I like he took responsibility for him getting this wrong the first time around. It’s a very clear message and my only wish is that he would be this clear on other (non-CBA agreed upon) issues regarding the PCP.

    For example, making bomb threats at an airport…

  23. buttfumbles says: Aug 28, 2014 3:11 PM

    Free Josh Gordon

  24. joemammy says: Aug 28, 2014 3:12 PM

    If you are so concerned with the integrity of the game, Roger, you should consider retirement.

  25. justafan2014 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:12 PM

    My head hurts

  26. veence69 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:12 PM

    It’s about time. Of course it’ll cause problems the first time a team can’t field 11 players, but hopefully others will learn from their example..

  27. dadindebt6 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:13 PM

    Big question
    Is a violation of the policy when an accusation is made, when an arrest is made, or when a conviction occurs?

  28. veence69 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:13 PM

    The Ray Rice Elevator.

  29. southpaw2k says: Aug 28, 2014 3:14 PM

    jtbsteeler says:

    “Ray Rice rule. Own it.”

    Considering it covers sexual assault allegations as well, I think calling it the Rice/Roethlisberger Rule would be fair.

  30. seatownballers says: Aug 28, 2014 3:14 PM

    This will take affect immediately, unless you are rice

  31. khenien says: Aug 28, 2014 3:17 PM

    I hate this guy.

  32. bengalbowl says: Aug 28, 2014 3:18 PM

    “Domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They are never acceptable and have no place in the NFL under any circumstances. ”

    Yet Rice is still in the league and so are about 20 more lady beaters.

  33. scw1993 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:18 PM

    Goodell came down harder on players for much lesser offenses than Ray Rice.

    C’mon and finish this….change Rice’s punishment to a year, teach him and his “ray rice is a great guy” coach a lesson. Let it now be entitled the Ray Rice Rule. Live with that, raven fans.

  34. cobrala says: Aug 28, 2014 3:23 PM

    It’s a solid letter and I loathe Goodell.

    There are 3 blunders in my mind that he’s ultimately responsible for mishandling:

    Ray Rice
    Josh Gordon
    “Point of emphasis”

    He’s owned up to Blunder #1 and though I hesitate to trust him I can admit most CEOs CANNOT do that! So kudos to Roger for not being the typical CEO jerk.

    2 more to go, though…

  35. kingokra says: Aug 28, 2014 3:24 PM

    You just know that in God-dell’s office, there is a big “wheel of fortune” wheel with penalties/fines on it. The players come in, kneel before God-dell and then they get to spin the wheel. “Nice spin, Ray. You were quite lucky to hit the only “2 game suspension” space. You’re next, Josh. Oh, no, so sorry. It’s the dreaded “bankrupt” space. You are suspended the whole year and cannot work anywhere else. Ok, Peyton, have a go. Wait…let me stand closer to the wheel…oh, look, you hit the unicorn- that means you get the lowest possible fine, around $9k. You good with that? Great. Later, guys and thanks for playing!”

  36. tomtravis76 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:25 PM

    Time for the release of the entire video from the AC hotel.

  37. dans761 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:27 PM

    I give credit to Goodell. He screwed up with Ray Rice and ackwowledged that. Now he’s taking steps to make sure stuff like this never happens and tangible consequences if they violate these crimes. I applaud him for that. There is NO ROOM for the types of incidents that Rice was a part of.

    I hope the commish shows how serious he is about Aldon Smiths disgusting behavior and gives him the kind of punishment he deserves.

  38. realityonetwo says: Aug 28, 2014 3:28 PM

    I can understand “too late,” but a minimum six-game ban and banishment for a second offense can hardly be described as “too little.”

  39. itsfootballbaby says: Aug 28, 2014 3:29 PM

    Kinda wordy

  40. bmoreb says: Aug 28, 2014 3:29 PM

    “Rice 2 games, hits wife…. Gordon 16, weed..”

    “whaaa.. whaaa… whaaa…”

    Get over it. Talk about a day late and dollar short.

    Goodell admitted the error of his ways and corrected it. The season is upon us.

    Again, get over it and get back to football.

  41. 1phd says: Aug 28, 2014 3:31 PM

    The next letter to the Owners will be how he got it wrong with weed use discipline. Then, misapplication of the blackout rule. Did you know that according to the NFL, Honolulu is a local market to San Francisco? It’s only 2400 miles away. Get in your car and drive it sometime.

  42. vusnu says: Aug 28, 2014 3:34 PM

    I am sick and tired of Goodell, with his $28 million salary preaching the ways of model behavior. All the while, his NFL has no problem carpet bagging a community in challenging NFL times, burdening it with financial obligations to pay for new unneeded stadiums. Let’s call it like it is – twist it however you like – this is all about making money for the owners and nothing else.

  43. seals1 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:35 PM

    Jim Brown just quivered. Don’t worry Jim ,,,,,,,,you are retired and your yards still count. Beater

  44. pftisawful says: Aug 28, 2014 3:36 PM

    his next letter is on international violence

  45. jscruisen says: Aug 28, 2014 3:38 PM

    It’s all about the glorification of Roger! An egotistical legend in his own mind!
    What about the conduct policy on owners driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs? I guess we can’t be too harsh on the one’s that higher, pay, and can fire you!
    When we see the NFL sincerely assist all violators and addicts in getting help and rehab, rather than just punishment, then maybe people will take you a more seriously! Until then Goodell, make sure you dictate a new letter with substance this time and make sure you get the first copy!

  46. minnesoulja says: Aug 28, 2014 3:38 PM

    Dear League,

    “I can’t handle the scrutiny or public limelight like the players do. Not even ten percent. I am sick of answering questions about my dingbat ideas to punish professional athletes so I can ‘protect’ my billionaire buddy’s investments.”

    “Until someone finds a new reason to ask me a question for unbalanced punishments, fines and suspensions handed down, I will just be dropping the hammer on anyone for anything. Meanwhile my owner buddies can speed down four lane highways drunk and pilled out, and I will deflect court dates, punishments and questions on it until my lawyers have it swept under the rug. Good luck in court Jim (I paid a judge, you will be fine)

    Yours Truly
    Good-for-Nothing

  47. minnesoulja says: Aug 28, 2014 3:40 PM

    no-one keeps Ray from hitting the hole hard….

  48. dodohead418 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:45 PM

    Wow, this took me by surprise; Goodell must be human after all!

  49. ronarch13 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:50 PM

    Are the owners NFL PERSONNEL? They own the league and it doesn’t seem clear if this new policy applies to them. I know they are above the law and all…. no owner would ever do anything illegal or even questionable. Part of the mistake made by the NFL is having unclear rules…. Cheers Rodger.

  50. i thumbs down your comment says: Aug 28, 2014 3:54 PM

    Good, can we settle Aldon Smith now as well?
    I’m sick of waiting

  51. ebr362 says: Aug 28, 2014 3:54 PM

    For all you Josh Gordon fans, read deeper into his troubling history and resulting kick outs of colleges and NFL suspensions. Failing a drug test while waiting for a pending dui case is never a a good indicator of someone on the straight and narrow.
    No matter how you feel about weed, if you want to make millions while playing a game, wait till you retire ……………but than again, I would have to be stoned if I had to play for cleveland too…..

  52. justintuckrule says: Aug 28, 2014 3:59 PM

    I’ll give him credit for one thing….he is the Pablo Picasso of b.s. artists

  53. justintuckrule says: Aug 28, 2014 4:00 PM

    So…if someone’s scorned ol’ lady makes two calls, that players’ career is over? Well thought out there Goodell and your team of 400 lawyers. That shouldn’t invite litigation ever.

  54. 667s650w says: Aug 28, 2014 4:02 PM

    This is just Godell covering his own butt for the ridiculous suspension he handed down to Ray Rice. All this does is further solidify that Goodell dropped the ball with Rice and the NFL needs to review their policy on drug use with the players association…

    The NFL does a lot of things well, but has really dropped the ball in recent months..

  55. sellout1983 says: Aug 28, 2014 4:10 PM

    This guy is a sleaze-bag of the purest form.

  56. clesportsfan says: Aug 28, 2014 4:11 PM

    A flip-flop move by Goodell, he’s on a great path to be a politician. Next move, pardon Josh Gordon

  57. mdd913 says: Aug 28, 2014 4:19 PM

    “And the first thing we’re gonna do is go after an advertiser whose slogan a quirky southern expression we don’t understand, because that’s almost as good as if we had gotten it right before.”

  58. uglydingo says: Aug 28, 2014 4:21 PM

    Brandon Marshall has a long and detailed history of domestic violence against his partners (none since he moved to Chicago). I can’t recall the NFL suspending him before, but there are many recorded incidents involving police. He’s probably looking at a lifetime ban next time he goes ballistic.
    He seems better behaved but major warning Bears fans.

  59. mdippong26 says: Aug 28, 2014 4:22 PM

    Too late Goodell.

  60. ravensgrl says: Aug 28, 2014 4:22 PM

    “We have sought – unsuccessfully – for several years to obtain the NFLPA’s agreement to more stringent discipline for DUI, including mandatory deactivation for the game immediately following an arrest and a minimum two-game suspension for a first violation of law.”

    I am more interested in hearing the NFLPAs response to this little dig buried in this long letter.

  61. canadiannflfan says: Aug 28, 2014 4:23 PM

    Goodell has given the league an escape route with the “with consideration given to mitigating factors” language. Perhaps it’s necessary for fairness, but I hope it isn’t used to selectively enforce the rule.

  62. linemanguy74 says: Aug 28, 2014 4:29 PM

    PS your player will get 2game suspension

  63. mackcarrington says: Aug 28, 2014 4:29 PM

    I don’t believe Goodell had anything to do with writing that letter.

  64. condor75 says: Aug 28, 2014 4:38 PM

    I am wondering for all of you here that think the new rule is a good one, how many of you would like the same rules in your work place? Don’t all bad pedal at once

  65. johnodocks says: Aug 28, 2014 4:38 PM

    It’s probably too late for Josh Gordon, but since he’s influenced by the media’s slant on public opinion, I wonder how long it will take for Goodell to cave on the harshness of the marijuana penalties.

  66. chilomane says: Aug 28, 2014 4:41 PM

    Public Relations at its core he’s a tool hitting women is cowardly and the way they addressed it was too. Ray Rice is a coward!

  67. makimaguro says: Aug 28, 2014 4:56 PM

    Some of you bloggers are a joke. It’s never too late to help/prevent violence or sexual assaults! The folks who tend to be perps of those types of crimes tends to be repeaters. Very strict and clear penalties. I like it.

  68. crip2nite says: Aug 28, 2014 4:58 PM

    The only reason you are crying about Ray Rice is that you fear his team, perhaps the Ravens are on your schedule? Bunch a wussy’s!!

  69. baltimoresnativeson says: Aug 28, 2014 5:04 PM

    What ever happened to the good ole days.

  70. vancouversportsbro says: Aug 28, 2014 5:09 PM

    Elevator gate. Don’t knock out your wives on the elevator or we will increase it to four games instead of two.

  71. rutchaser says: Aug 28, 2014 5:22 PM

    steverolley says:
    Aug 28, 2014 2:59 PM
    Roger’s World…..

    Josh Gordon is out for a year for smoking weed

    Ray Rice is out for 2 games for punching out his wife and dragging her on camera

    ———————-•

    We know already! I’ve heard this a thousands times.

  72. johnodocks says: Aug 28, 2014 5:22 PM

    By “offense” does he mean an accusation, a charge, or a conviction?

  73. booboobythelake says: Aug 28, 2014 5:23 PM

    I am boycotting the NFL until Haslem is kicked out for stealing off of truck drivers.

  74. blkandgld4eva says: Aug 28, 2014 5:28 PM

    Greg Hardy is officially screwed. He was convicted but is appealing to a jury trial. Now he probably wished he hadn’t done that, because he’s looking at a minimum of 6 games. He better invest the $13 mil he’s making this year very wisely, because he’s gonna need it.

  75. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 28, 2014 5:36 PM

    I didn’t read the whole thing.

    Too long.

  76. cornerstone2001 says: Aug 28, 2014 6:05 PM

    Goodell ur a phony. This is just a PR move for damage control.

    Suspend yourself without pay for a year…then quit

  77. cafetero1075 says: Aug 28, 2014 6:50 PM

    Goodell has got it wrong many times. Brandon Marshall and Big Ben would of been banned for life by now. I think he is over reacting, the punishment should be okay on a guilty plea.

  78. drunkwino says: Aug 28, 2014 6:58 PM

    “Since becoming Commissioner, my focus has been on ensuring that the NFL is held in the highest regard by our fans, players….”

    Then allow me to inform you that you have utterly and completely failed. A failure so complete that if this were Japan, you’d be expected to commit seppuku. Not even the shills you pay to go to comment sections to decend your sorry behind can do it anymore. If you had a shred of dignity, you’d have resigned years ago. Anyone else as commissioner would have been able to work out HGH testing domestic violence, and substance abuse issues with the NFLPA years ago.

    But sure Ginger, it’s always someone else’s fault. Even in your disingenuous transparent snowjob of “taking responsibility,” you manage to find someone else to blame.

  79. seanb20124 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:32 PM

    Big Ben never convicted of anything, so no rule would apply to him

  80. spellmethis says: Aug 28, 2014 7:48 PM

    For everyone calling for Rice to be suspended under these new suspension guidelines: search “ex post facto laws”

    Full disclosure, I’m a Ravens fan. You have to give recognition, kudos to Goodell for very publicly and concisely admitting a misstep. There is no condoning DV/SA. This will be forever be known as the Rice rule and justly so. For people decrying the unjust nature of Rice’s suspension juxtaposed with Gordon’s suspension, big picture, you’re right in that DV/SA should result in a stricter punishment than the relatively victimless crime of recreational marijuana use, even if it is the user’s umpteenth violation and the abuser’s first. However, the implications for another violation by Gordon were well known before his most recent failed test in a policy collectively bargained by the players. With Rice, he was subject to Goodell’s discretion with no clear parameters, just flimsy precedent. With the new policy, the NFL finally has some transparency with the PCP. They should go further and be completely transparent as to punishments meted out by Goodell for other violations as well. They should also definitely clarify what will constitute a violation. Six games for a dubious accusation would be pretty ridiculous. I’ll be interested to see them reduce a suspension for “mitigating circumstances” too. But for those calling for retroactive application to Rice, it’s not going to happen. And, as always with the NFL, this makes perfect business sense. Definitely don’t want to alienate a market share as huge as female NFL fans.

  81. gadlaw2012 says: Aug 28, 2014 8:50 PM

    Better late then never.

  82. montrealraider says: Aug 28, 2014 9:06 PM

    Some of the posters here hate Goodell so much they would say apple pie is disgusting if he was shown eating some.

    I dont like what is being done to the game on the field, but I have to say this is a pretty hard stance. We shall see with the Greg Hardy case how it applies. But I respect Roger Goodell for taking action over the backlash the Rice case provoked. The history of public policies and law in general is fufilled with cases like this one were something changes dramaticaly the course.

    This is evolution, and I dont think its fair to paint it as “damage control” because the NFL is now holding itself accountable by releasing this information publicaly.

  83. jakethesnake57 says: Aug 28, 2014 9:37 PM

    Since you’re correcting past mistakes, how about finally ending the misery of Thursday night football !!!
    Worst commissioner in the history of the NFL

  84. mmalka says: Aug 28, 2014 9:52 PM

    since when does a non work related offence have to be punished under work ethics and devised by someone who has no authority at all or any education in regards to the law, i do not condone the behavior which prompted this suspension, nevertheless, it is clear that the player in question is in need of counselling and that his behavior is not to be judged and sanction by any other authority than that of the law itself. What is the responsability of his wife in the matter ie. deciding to stay in a situation that seems to have become unbearable to the reat of the world, how is she affected, what is the support being offered to her? we have become too willing to sanction what is politically incorrect ie treating the symptoms so that we the public feel good about it without a second thought at guiding the people towards treating the underlying causes, this is the same behavior being used in ‘modern medicine’ keyword a quick fix and grown men playing God

  85. campcouch says: Aug 28, 2014 10:14 PM

    So the league CAN change rules during the season. Amazing.

  86. firerogergoodellnow says: Aug 28, 2014 11:15 PM

    How did he manage to do this if he couldn’t get NFLPA’s approval on increased DUI punishments?

  87. olcap says: Aug 29, 2014 8:48 AM

    That it takes the creation of an NFL “RULE” to address a criminal and socially depraved act IN the NFL speaks volumes on where RG’s head is concerning right and wrong.

    In his world, since he hadn’t yet created this new rule, Rice walks with his 2 game suspension. But you wife beaters out there, know that we will no longer look at this as a minor occurrence in the NFL of the future.

    Sickening.

  88. 1sportsfan36 says: Aug 29, 2014 4:22 PM

    TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE!! What I find truly offensive in his statement is this, “My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families”. OH, I guess when he suspended Ray Rice for the 2 games he was hoping for no outcry, HA! Now that he’s enacting this new policy, WHY is he not TACKING on the additional weeks of suspension to Ray Rice?! Oh, that’s right – he’s a BALTIMORE RAVEN & they get SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS! Step up Goodell and impose the needed suspension on this abuser who is adored & looked up to by so many kids in Baltimore – they need to see that there are SERIOUS consequences for your actions!!

  89. drunkwino says: Aug 29, 2014 8:07 PM

    nevertheless, it is clear that the player in question is in need of counselling
    ———————
    No as a matter of fact he doesn’t need counseling. He doesn’t have a mental illness, he smacked a woman around. That’s not something for counseling, that’s something you should get your °°° beat down over.

    Counseling? Ridiculous.

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