Goodell’s clarified comments on Roethlisberger raise questions

On Monday, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported in his Monday Morning Quarterback column that Commissioner Roger Goodell had spoken with roughly two dozen Steelers players in connection with the investigation that culminated in the six-game (reduced to four) suspension of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  King later clarified Goodell’s remarks; Goodell, as King explained it, didn’t mean to say that the players were members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that they played for other teams.

King took responsibility for the erroneous assumption, and he expressed regret.  But as pointed out in today’s edition of ProFootballTalk Live, King’s assumption was reasonable.

Before going any farther with this, I need to acknowledge two things.  Peter King is a colleague and a friend.  He has been gracious and cordial and generous with me, with no agenda and nothing to gain from nurturing and lending credibility to a recovering Internet hack.  (It’s 12-step process, times 12.)  And to the extent that anyone thinks his agenda was to secure favorable treatment on these pages in the event of an incident like this, you’re far more cynical than even we are.

That said, why should King have believed that Goodell included in his review of the question of whether Roethlisberger violated the Personal Conduct Policy roughly 24 discussions with men who have only limited exposure to Roethlisberger — and no discussions with his teammates?

Who’s in a better position to shed light on the manner in which Roethlisberger behaved when interacting with women in alcohol-influenced social settings, teammates who have seen him in such settings or players from other teams who see him if at all for three hours on a Sunday afternoon?

Moreover, consider the words Goodell used.  He said he spoke to “I bet two dozen players” and “[n]ot one, not a single player, went to [Roethlisberger’s] defense.”  So why would Goodell find it noteworthy that players from other teams opted not to go to Roethlisberger’s defense?

Thus, while King’s assumption ultimately may not have been accurate, it was reasonable, under the circumstances.

That said, why was Goodell interested in talking to players from other teams in connection with an investigation as to whether Roethlisberger violated the Personal Conduct Policy?  There seems to be no relevance to the views of players from other teams, unless those 24 or so players from other teams have a history of hanging out with Roethlisberger during times when he may have been interacting with females in an inappropriate way.

And if that’s why Goodell was talking to the players from other teams, why wouldn’t he want to talk to Roethlisberger’s teammates?

Then there’s the question of why Goodell was sharing these observations in an on-the-record manner with any reporter.  Although team president Art Rooney, II, seemed to imply in remarks to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the comments weren’t intended to be published this week (or, presumably, ever), King’s clarification did not include any explanation that Goodell objected to the use of the quotes as on-the-record statements.

Something doesn’t make sense here, and it would be naive to assume that the call from Goodell to King that resulted in King’s clarification wasn’t preceded by a much more heated call from someone named Rooney to Goodell demanding that the toothpaste be crammed back into the tube before the Crest hit the fan at Media Day.

76 responses to “Goodell’s clarified comments on Roethlisberger raise questions

  1. Godhel needs removed…just shows you how biased the man is..and he had no reason to question any player from any team about bens personal life…it was made clear in the begining that ben was innocent of the accusation against him.I can understand the suspension yea for him putting himself in a position to be accused of something,but to carry on this B.S. is classless for someone who is running the show…

    and any one that isnt a fan should just let it go and quit acting like a biased clown and keep making incorrect statements about Ben without looking at the facts…Godhell is turning the NFL into a garage league.and making these athletes look like a bunch of sissys if they get hit hard

    Harrison hit the nail on the head with his press conference with media about laying pillows all over the field

  2. My whole question with this is Goodell’s lack of confidentiality regarding private interviews/conversations.

    No one likes – or respects – a fink. Shows a lot about the commissioner’s character more than anything.

    If I were a player, I wouldn’t trust him, and would decline an “interview” with him in the future.

  3. Isn’t it obvious that Goodell was caught in a bit of and embellishment? Just speak the truth…

  4. Goodell is an idiot. Tags might not have secured a favorable deal, but at least he got one done without trying to undermine players thru channels of the media during SB week.

  5. Loose lips sink ships, and a certain commissioner’s chances at being remembered as anything other than a buffoon.

  6. Exactly; Goodell was out of line making those comments for the record.

    Why on earth was he talking with opposing players as a part of a disciplinary action? Was this to gain some kind of insight from an “impartial” audience who had no idea what did or did not take place on the night in question for which he was being investigated? How would their input assist him in making a decision? What value would it have in that process and for that matter, why does their take have any value now?
    He also added that he “doesn’t feel any connection” to Roethlisberger.

    When I read King’s original column I assumed that the comments were made prior to his preseason visit when he gave Roethlisberger lots of praise for making changes in his life and he seemed very pleased with the “progress” he had made. He even went so far as to say he had exceeded every expectation that was laid out for him by the Commissioner’s office.
    It turns out that he made these statements January 7th knowing full well that they would end up in a Peter King column sometime during the playoffs.

    This is Goodell doing two things. One, distancing himself from Roethlisberger and the attacks he is sure to suffer this week. And two, attempting to justify suspending a player, and setting a precedent for doing so, when said player has not been charged with any crime.

    And he wonders why players believe he has a personal agenda and that he wields his power inconsistently depending on who the individual or team are.

  7. In the history of the Super Bowl this game will have an asterisk beside it. See below.

    * History (Revisionist).

  8. Then there’s the question of why Goodell was sharing these observations in an on-the-record manner with any reporter.

    That is the question that should be put to Goodell!! What possible reason would he have to discuss this information with a member of the media??? He obviously didn’t retract that he had the conversation with King. It is completely unprofessional and should be addressed by the NFLPA. Are you protecting the league image now Roger??

  9. Something doesn’t make sense here, and it would be naive to assume that the call from Goodell to King that resulted in King’s clarification wasn’t preceded by a much more heated call from someone named Rooney to Goodell demanding that the toothpaste be crammed back into the tube before the Crest hit the fan at Media Day.
    ———————————-
    I was thinking the same thing. King has always been a credible reporter. I believe his initial report. It just makes no sense the commish would talk to players on other teams about BR’s suspension, and at the same time, not talk to the players on his team.

    It’s damage control. Plan and simple.

  10. Peter King is a colleague and a friend.

    Which is why you can’t be objective Mike. Don’t expect the rest of us to accept the fact that he published this story during Superbowl week, and then say it’s ok because he is so nice. He got this from Goodell on Jan. 7, so why wait so long to put it on the MMQB website?? I saw him on HBO. He writes MMQB on the train Sunday nights, so he would have had plenty of time to put it on the 9th, 16th, 23rd, or wait until after the Superbowl. I get that it coincides with the article in SI this week, but its hard to believe that King / SI didn’t know exactly the effect this story would have.

  11. actually what goodell did makes perfect sense

    he sought character testimonials from ben’s peers (other players he plays against in the league) rather than his family (his own teammates)

    family = liars usually

  12. There are a lot of aspects of this story that make no sense.

    To me, the biggest issue is why did P King publish the story when it could not have been more patently unbelievable.

    Goodell’s original quote is akin to Harry Reid making a statement that he asked 2 dozen democratic senators, and NONE of them support Obama. It’s so unbelievably ridiculous that it makes me question:

    (1) why did P King not try to fact check by asking steelers players about it 1st

    (2) If, as you’re insinuating, the original quote IS what Goodell actually said, then why is he passing along flat out lies?

    (3) as you mentioned, why is this info being released, and certainly why now a few days before the SB?

    The bottom line to me is that Goodell has an anti-steeler agenda this year, from his disgraceful and undeserved suspension of Ben, his refusal to apply the same standards to all players when giving out fines, his insistance at shoving an 18 game season down our throats, even though NO ONE wants it other than the greedy owners, his love obsession with stealing home games and outsourcing them around the planet to countries that could care less about the NFL, etc, etc.

    This bum needs to go..NOW

  13. You’re making the assertion (assumption) that Goodell didn’t talk to ANY Steelers players. He never said he didn’t. He was only referring to his conversations with non-Steelers. But the 2 aren’t mutually exclusive…

  14. Conversely, who wouldn’t expect a player on his team to have Roethlisberger’s back? Maybe Goodell was looking for someone less partial — talking to respected players who he thought he could rely on to give him the straight shot? (That’s a less ‘newsworthy’ angle, though…)

  15. The author of this seems somewhat naive.

    Look at where and when the alleged inappropriate behavior took place – Nevada and Georgia and during the off season. Far away from home. Far away from Pittsburgh.

    Why would you think Ben’s teammates have some special insight? Do you really think a lot of the Steelers go bar hopping during the regular season? Not likely. Do you think all the Steelers live in Pittsburgh? They don’t.

    On the other hand, during the off season players from different teams do get together. They may live near each other, be friends from college, or being appearing at the same charity event. And they go out for a night on the town together.

    So it seems reasonable to me that Goodell talked to a bunch of players from different teams.

    Personally I don’t find the whole Ben story particularly shocking or surprising. He’s a young guy basking in adoration who thinks he can get away with anything. Then reality hits him in the face. You see the same thing with celebrities and hot shot business people.

    I don’t particularly like Ben but I’m glad he seems to have taken this wake up call seriously.

    On a different note. Some are criticizing Goodell for the comments that were reported by King. They claim this was a set up to distract the Steelers during the lead up to the Super Bowl.

    WRONG. King states that the interview with Goodell took place Jan 7th – before the first playoff game.

  16. Don’t blame King here, he’s just the messenger. It’s Goodell who has acted disgracefully, and needs to be held accountable.

    Beyond the ridiculous use of players from OTHER teams used in judgment of Roethlisberger, there’s the question of ethics and double standards in divulging the details in the first place.

    Goodell had no business sharing closed-door investigative information about a player with the media. Note how guarded he was with Spygate (and his buddy Kraft) going as far as to destroy tapes. No information was shared with the press, if anything it was guarded as a state secret.

    But with Roethlisberger, it’s a real open-mouth policy. That’s wrong on so many levels it’s sickening. Especially now that it’s been reported that Goodell gave the info to King on January 7th, RIGHT BEFORE THE PLAYOFFS STARTED.

    King erred in adding the (false) idea that it was Steeler players who “didn’t support” Ben. That’s about it. It’s Goodell who needs to be roasted here, and frankly this site should be leading the way. Or at the very least questioning the commissioner’s right to share private data with the sports media.

    Too bad though the damage is already done — all the idiots out there are still squawking about how Ben’s teammates don’t like him.

    At least King had the guts and decency to admit his error, unlike the commissioner.

    Maybe it’s time the Commissioner respected his own conduct policy, and suspended himself for gross violation thereof.

  17. P.S. Never — and I mean NEVER — do I want to hear any of you weasels whine about how the league “favors” the Steelers. Now you see the truth. This persecution has been going on all year, from Harrison to Ben. There would be no greater justice than for the Steelers to win the Bowl now — and for Goodell to have to hand the trophy to Ben.

  18. First off let me express that I respect Roger Goodell. He has done a decent job in the main position of power of the biggest sport in America. With that said, I believe Goodell is not the right man for the job. Plain and simple. I’ve watched the destruction of football before my eyes over the last few years thanks to the commish. Egregious fines and penalties for hard hits on star QBs or WRs (granted, helmet to helmet hits needed to be reduced), the push for the 18 game season, the celebration flags and fines, the way that defense has such a huge disadvantage, etc. to name a few of the problems. I understand the NFL is a big business, and more high scoring games would garner the highest ratings, but at some point the NFL has to realize it is an entertainment industry. The feeling I get when I think of the NFL is that it is run by a bunch of greedy uptight businessmen, and it’s disappointing to say the least. The players are certainly not happy about all the change, and most fans I know are not, either.

    It would be ridiculous if Goodell did, in fact, decide Ben’s fate by asking mostly players who are not even on his team about him. I think Ben deserved a punishment but the way Goodell handled the process is questionable. I just want the NFL to be back to how good it was a few years ago, and this most recent example of Goodell’s ineptitude proves why this won’t happen as long as he is commish.

  19. That said, why was Goodell interested in talking to players from other teams in connection with an investigation as to whether Roethlisberger violated the Personal Conduct Policy?

    1. If out of 24 players there is a major opinion of Ben as a person,good or bad, it says something just as character witnesses in a trial do.

    2. Over blowing this a little much? I mean as a fan I like that the commissioner is so open an honest, refreshing from the constant proverbial “company line” quotes we usually get.

    Chris from Idaho

  20. Thank you, Mike, I read King’s retraction and wondered the same thing. While I never achieved prominence in the field, I have been a journalist and I have interviewed several hundred people for a variety of stories.

    I can’t picture a scenario in which a man of relatively limited media exposure (Goodell) managing to fool someone with decades of journalism experience (King) into thinking he was saying something else. It just doesn’t add up.

    Good for King for printing a retraction, it takes a lot to do that, but I think he’s taking the high ground in the matter, and falling on a grenade for a source he’s going to need to keep happy.

    You’re spot-on in your skepticism. All the retraction does is make me question why it is he didn’t talk to Steelers players; or at the least, why did he choose to ONLY talk to players who have something to gain by Roethlisberger not being in the league for x amount of games?

    It just seems odd that if Goodell made it clear he wasn’t referring to Steelers players that King wouldn’t have asked those questions.

  21. There are 2 issues on Goodells comments that I find incredibly disturbing

    1) As a company man and a manager – Human Resource issues are confidential and in any corporate setting, what Goodell just did was inappropriate from an HR perspective. Someone would be in big time trouble for this talk.

    It was incredibly irresponsible for Goodell to reveal confidential conversations regarding player disciplinary actions to a reporter for 2 national news outlets.

    2) When Troy Polamalu suggested active player input when assessing fines for hits, Goodell flatly rejected that notion, yet when it comes to disciplinary measures he seeks out player input from other teams? That makes zero sense. Goodell appears hypocritical on the value of player input.

  22. Enough already. Why do you insist on ramming this ‘story’ down our throats? Let this go and do your job by finding something Super Bowl newsworthy to report on. And before you report it, actually check the facts.

    From the follow-up ‘clarification’ by King to your ASSUMED (and I’m certain that you know what happens when you ‘ass[out of]u[&]me’ things Mr. Mike) call from Rooney and anything before, during or after…..is not the issue.

    The bottom line issue is this….Goodell broke a confidence regardless of what was, or was not said in private meetings. Someone who would speak to a reporter on an issue as sensitive as this has done it before, or is doing it as I write. Go sniffing around Goodell. I guarantee you’ll get a real scoop to write about.

    And one last thing. Ben Roethlisberger has handled this all like a pro. He’s here to play football. I see a young man who is working hard and moving forward. Time for all of you to do the same.

    GO STEELERS!

  23. King may be your bud and colleague, but talking to GODdell….making assumptions, and releasing this story SuperBowl week is unprofessional. Now, I just can’t figure out if it was King’s idea or GODdell’s?

  24. Find the video of Seymour punching Ben in the face (it’s on youtube) and see how many of his linemen come to his aid. Sure they pushed him away, but can you imagine the reaction had he punched Brady or Manning (or even Rodgers). There would have more ejections, that’s for sure. This is a pretty clear indicator of how his temmates felt about him (at that time anyways).

  25. Where those 24 players Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Sanchez, etc

    ???

  26. A better question might be; Why is Goodell bringing this up at all? Why, even if he was asked, did he not just say that we as a league want to concentrate on the game and not on what happened last summer? Goodell is all about the league’s image…why re-tarnish it with this crap the week of the Super Bowl?

  27. Time to give this topic a rest – the truth may lie somewhere in between. Whatever the case; Goodell demonostrated highly unprofessional behavior by discussing a personnel situation in such detail with the press. It would be unacceptable in a corporate setting and one would expect the same rules to apply to Mr. Goodell and the NFL.

    Let’s focus on football! And watching two great teams in the Super Bowl.

  28. My goodness Mike, the longest post you’ve ever written is a media CYA. Typical.
    What’s even funnier is how ALL you media types played Mary had a Little Lamb with Boorish Ben yesterday.
    Not a man among you.

  29. Doesnt sound like this changes the “fact” that other players, including been’s team mates think he is a turd!

  30. “And if that’s why Goodell was talking to the players from other teams, why wouldn’t he want to talk to Roethlisberger’s teammates?”

    Probably because they’d likely do everything possible to shed Ben in a good light so his suspension was reduced. They have nothing to gain by not defending him. And while some teams would have reason to put Ben down in an effort to keep him suspended (other AFC North teams, anyone who played Pittsburgh through the first 6 weeks, top AFC teams in the other divisions), but overall there is a better chance to find unbiased players on other teams than on the Steelers.

  31. I’m sure Goodell would have wanted some unbiased opinions and interviewed some ex-steeler and college teamates. Even if some current Steelers wanted to throw him under the bus, they may have refrained because they weren’t sure they could win without him.

  32. Back in the days when suspending players for personal conduct was new, when Pacman was making it rain and all, the whole idea was to include an advisory panel of players from across the league, because Goodell wanted that input. As I recall, that factored pretty prominently into the form of those early suspensions, too. Hasn’t a form of this player input existed since?

    Why would you focus on talking only or primarily to teammates? How unbiased can the opinions of guys who are afraid of losing one of their star players at a key position be?

    As long as Goodell didn’t only talk to other AFC North players or players from teams on the first 6 weeks of the Steelers 2010 schedule, this sounds a lot like what Goodell has done before when faced with a tricky situation involving potential suspensions. Especially since this time there weren’t any criminal charges pending but there was a pretty clear, proven pattern of behavior that was crossing a line.

  33. I can’t believe this hasn’t gained more traction in the press other than that almost all media is tied to the NFL. Why is Goodell Sharing confidential info with a reporter? Let alone (THEE) top of the pyramid P. King. Why 6 days before the super bowl??

    Possible Answers: Rooney critical of 18 games, Hines and Harrison critical of Goodell all year long, Steeler Team not cooperating with the NFL/NFL films all year in protest. Maybe…

  34. Thank you for this mornings post. After reading King’s retraction it was obvious to me that Goodell had crapped his pants and was trying to do damage control.

    I don’t understand why readers of this blog felt it necessary to attack King but then I remember that Steelers fans are far more blinded by team loyalty than your typical fan.

    Pittsburgh is a model organization. I am a Colts fan and I can tell you that the Steeler organization is what the Colts used as a model when they rebuilt themselves from chumps to champs. As an organization it is very hard to find something negative to say about how the Steelers operate. It is very hard to find something negative to say about the Rooney family as well.

    Having said that, your quarterback Pittsburgh, is a tool. Yes he’s amongst the best, but by keeping him as your quarterback you sell a little bit of your soul to the dark side.

    Pittsburgh, you are one of the good guys, there aren’t a lot of you left. Roethlisberger is one of the bad guys.

  35. King is the best in the business. He did the classy thing by saying it was his mistake but he has a lot more credibility than the commish in my opinion.
    Goodell has shown in the past he has no problem interfering with teams getting ready to play in the Superbowl. It was out of line for him to comment on the Patriots/Rams walk through issue in the few days before the game and it’s totally inappropriate to make divisive comments about Ben now.
    I don’t have a problem with him speaking on these issues but I question the timing.

  36. wondering WHY Goddell felt the need to share that information with any reporter? this is the same Commissioner who destroyed video evidence after Spygate, … no wonder Farve didn’t co-operate with the Comissioners office, he was smart not to, as would any player in the future who has to go before Goddell. SOMEBODY from the players union needs to be keeping score here, b/c you have a Comissioner drunk with power, his conduct needs to be called into question.

  37. “Something doesn’t make sense here, and it would be naive to assume that the call from Goodell to King that resulted in King’s clarification wasn’t preceded by a much more heated call from someone named Rooney to Goodell demanding that the toothpaste be crammed back into the tube before the Crest hit the fan at Media Day.”

    Ho—–ly CRAP.

    I read this article 3 times and I still can’t find any basis for this assumption.

    Talk about jumping to conclusions!

    It may be naive to assume that Rooney demanded a retraction, but it’s presumptuous to assume the same without evidence.

  38. me thinks thou dost protest too much. Goodell is commissioner of the league and would be interested in the opinion of league players. I generally like King and his football comments, but obviously he didn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. If you’re not sure, verify

  39. Why is the commisioner of football sharing confidential information with the press to begin with?
    He wasn’t this irresponsible when investigating the Patriots or Favre or the Jets???
    I hope the Steelers win and tell the commish, while taking the Lombardi, to shove it!!

  40. In other words we have the very real possibility of Peter King showing less journalistic integrity than a part time internet hack in sharing what may have been an of the record remark. Of course it still is no excuse for Roger Goodell to exhibit the same poor judgement in saying what he did in any forum. Hasn’t the league office said more than once when disciplining a player that the player needed to make better choices?

  41. It’s simple, really. Roger is a Steelers’ fan, and he’s doing his part to help motivate the team. The team will rally around Big Ben on Sunday.

  42. Am i the only one on the planet that thinks Goodell needs to go? He ain’t even the gum on the bottom of Pete Rozel and Paul Tagleabos shoes (R.I.P. Pete)! He is ruining the league. Spending all his time picking on defenders that hit hard and tryin to slander Big ben. Roger G is a joke. He couldn’t supervise an automatic car wash. Ha Ha. He should be working on hammering out a new agreement so we won’t have a lockout.

  43. A seasoned SI reporter like King “misunderstands” the NFL Commissioner? Really?

    Goodell doesn’t have a “connection” with Roethlisberger but he has one with a convicted dog killer. Does he have a “connection” with the Packer players that were accused of sexual assault?

    Why’s this guy in front of a camera and in the news 24 hours a day — He’s the Obama of the NFL.

  44. Goodell favors the Ravens…he will take any shot he can to take the Steelers down since it is the only way the Ravens become relevant

  45. This whole year has been a joke thanks mostly for decisions from the Commish!!! I have never remembered a year that the Commish has had such an impact on 1 football year. The decisions he has had throughout the year has no merit.
    Time for Goodell to go, he thinks he is bigger than the game. He wont be missed period and he has made this year a JOKE!!!!

  46. It just goes to show what a joke Ben’s suspension was in the first place.

    First, you can’t suspend him for what he was accused of, because there a) was no proof, and b) the accuser’s case was so weak the D.A. couldn’t even bring himself to charge him. So Roger invents something, in this case using the fact that some young woman sneaked into the bar with a fake I.D. Oh, Bad Ben, buying drinks when there was a minor around — like Ben is supposed to be at the door checking I.D.’s? What a laugh!

    Then we find out Ben’s character was checked by interviews with players from OTHER teams? I can just hear it: “OK, Mr. Ravens player, would you say Ben’s a bad guy? Oh and be honest, because you know he could get suspended if you say something bad! And I know you, Mr. Ravens player, wouldn’t want Ben to miss any games, right? Especially when you play the Steelers in week 4.”

    Do you not see how ridiculous this whole sham has been? And now to find out Roger blabbed away to King right in time for the playoffs? To cause maximum disruption?

    I can understand why other posters here are calling for Goodell’s head. Talk about violating a conduct policy — this beats all.

  47. doug504 says:
    Feb 2, 2011 2:22 AM
    The author of this seems somewhat naive.

    Look at where and when the alleged inappropriate behavior took place – Nevada and Georgia and during the off season. Far away from home. Far away from Pittsburgh.

    Why would you think Ben’s teammates have some special insight? Do you really think a lot of the Steelers go bar hopping during the regular season? Not likely. Do you think all the Steelers live in Pittsburgh? They don’t.

    On the other hand, during the off season players from different teams do get together. They may live near each other, be friends from college, or being appearing at the same charity event. And they go out for a night on the town together.

    So it seems reasonable to me that Goodell talked to a bunch of players from different teams.

    On a different note. Some are criticizing Goodell for the comments that were reported by King. They claim this was a set up to distract the Steelers during the lead up to the Super Bowl.

    WRONG. King states that the interview with Goodell took place Jan 7th – before the first playoff game.

    ——————————————————–

    No, I don’t think the “author” is the one being naive here.

    Seriously, you think players from OTHER teams are better sources for info than Ben’s own teammates? Some Rams or Chiefs player — or better yet, Ravens or Browns player? Are you JOKING?

    And yes, we know when the info was given — just in time to potentially disrupt the PLAYOFFS. You don’t think it would? Naive again.

    What you should find “shocking” is the fact Goodell shared such confidential information in the first place — especially when Goodell was so tight-lipped during Spygate or the Favre investigation — strike three, Captain Naivete.

  48. There was one part of the interview that stood out–where Goodell said other players complained that Ben wouldn’t sign their jersey.

    Really? In determining Ben’s character and whether or not he violated the personal conduct policy, Goodell used the fact that Ben wouldn’t sign jerseys as one reason for suspending him.

    Some players charge a ridiculous amount of money to sign anything? Is that any worse?

    I think after the SB, Ben should give his own interview and disclose some of the information from his meeting with Goodell. See how Roger likes it.

  49. the only queation I have is why you are still hammering away on theis story? unlike you goodell was misquoted and wanted to set the record straight. you who had the chance to ask Ben those tough questions you keep talking about instead choose to drag the steelers owners into this. wonder what your good friend an colleague will have to say about that?will you still be able to sit at the big boy table at nbc with him?

  50. ampatsisahypocrite says: Feb 2, 2011 10:08 AM

    Seriously, you think players from OTHER teams are better sources for info than Ben’s own teammates? Some Rams or Chiefs player — or better yet, Ravens or Browns player? Are you JOKING?

    —————————————–

    How would Steeler players be BETTER sources? Do you actually think they would all be 100% truthful about Ben?

    They may know Ben better, but they have more to gain than anyone else in the league by lying in Ben’s favor. It’s the same reason family members aren’t permitted to be references on job applications. While there are several teams in which you could see them lying against Ben in an effort to keep him suspended longer (Browns, Ravens, Bengals, Patriots, Colts, Jets, Chargers would be the main culprits with Falcons, Titans, Bucs, and Dolphins thrown in due to scheduling), that still leaves *20* other teams who stand to gain very little, if anything, from Ben’s suspension.

  51. I’m guessing Goodell shared his observations with King because the suspension was legally iffy at best and he was trying to cover his ass in the court of public opinion in the event of criticism.

  52. Why would he (as the BOSS) even say that, 4 months after the suspension was completed & well after everything that could be said about it was??? He either has an agenda or he is really stupid…or he is really stupid & has an agenda (I think the latter). Godhell obviously wants Greenbay to win so badly he is willing to make an ass of himself & the NFL in his promotion of them. By trying to build one team up while trying to tear the other team down has the effect of bringing a question to whether there is going to be a bias in the game officiating (as we have seen all year long against the Steelers).

  53. It was a pretty open and shut case to begin with, at least after Fred Bright’s announcement. The suspension was for violating the conduct policy. If Goodell had reason to make that call, and I believe he did, then make it. With the exception of the coach, owner, and union rep, NOBODY else needs to be involved. It’s not a court of law, there is no need for character references.

  54. I can understand having my friends back so i get why you are trying to clarify your support for Peter King and NOW your suspicion of Goodell’s comments being a bit misleading but this is NOT Goodells mistake!! It is the job of a reputable reporter to thoroughly investigate a story before reporting it rather than holding on to it for “theatrical ” purposes. If Godell said what was reported, wouldn’t it be the normal response of a good reporter to begin naming names of steelers to get a more clear response from Goodell? Wouldn’t it be the good reporting to go to other steelers and ask them about the statement? While it is true that Goodell should not have made the statement, none of us would have known about it without the shabby reporting done by King. Any person can say anything about anyone but as a reporter every story should be searched out for facts before printed for public opinion. This is the third story in a few weeks that has had some form of retraction because of incorrect information. Going for a sensational story may not be as smart as going for a sensational, factual story.

  55. Here’s the bottom line. GODell and King should not have made public ANYTHING along the lines of any discussions with any players. What possible benefit did it serve to discuss ANYTHING about any possible considerations GODell had or didn’t have or any actions he did or didn’t do in this matter? Shouldn’t that be CONFIDENTIAL? What is the player’s union doing about this, I wonder?

    For something like this to come out, during Super Bowl week, and come out apparently BOTCHED, is just amazing. What a great commission the NFL has. What a great PR guy.

    GO STEELERS!!

  56. Maybe Peter King and PFT could google “players advisory council” or “players advisory forum” and consider if maybe THAT was the source of player input to which Goodell was referring.

    Whether you agree with how the NFL league office administers its personal conduct policy or not — and there’s plenty of room for debate there — there’s been a body in place for several years now that does give player input to Goodell and the league office on matters including the personal conduct policy and its enforcement.

    So I’m not entirely sure why King assumed this was about Steelers players in the first place. But hey, why not just call it an honest misunderstanding and move on ?

  57. So what?

    Goodell, regardless of whether he spoke to Steelers players or other teams players, made 2 glaring errors. He used Ben’s popularity as a reason for the suspension. And he was stupid enough to share this information with Peter King.

    King, whether you are willing to admit it or not, did what he always does: name dropping, and throwing convenient whipping boys under the bus.

    There are no excuses for either of them.

    PFT’s speculation that Rooney has somehow mixed himself up in this mess is interesting window dressing but has nothing more.

  58. Really? You’re now defending Peter “full of himself” King? He loves to act as though he’s just a reporter, but he puts himself into the story more times than not. He lacks professionalism in that he slants his stories towards his agenda and make no mistake about it, he has a CLEAR agenda.

    He’s had it out for Big Ben, Belichick and anyone else that doesn’t conform to Peter’s wants and needs.

    Oh, and I get it, you travel, drink coffee and have kids. Try putting some of that wasted column time into telling the ENTIRE story instead of your heavily biased view, Mr.King.

  59. When a reporter back tracks at the behest of the subject of his article that IS NOT reporting, it’s simply being a “shill” for his subject. Peter King should be ashamed of himself and PFT as well for trying to come up with an excuse justifying King’s silly explanation!

  60. In conclusion: Goodell hates the Steelers and will do anything to keep them from being successful. However, they continue to win when it counts most.

    Goodell is by far the most impartial commissioner of any organization in the history of sports. And I don’t care – because I’m a Steelers fan and I know the Steelers come to play and play to win.

    Goodell can continue to do whatever he wants, he’ll always be a joke, but the Steelers will always be legendary.

  61. nps6724 says:

    Feb 2, 2011 10:34 AM
    ampatsisahypocrite says: Feb 2, 2011 10:08 AM
    Seriously, you think players from OTHER teams are better sources for info than Ben’s own teammates? Some Rams or Chiefs player — or better yet, Ravens or Browns player? Are you JOKING?

    —————————————–

    How would Steeler players be BETTER sources? Do you actually think they would all be 100% truthful about Ben?

    They may know Ben better, but they have more to gain than anyone else in the league by lying in Ben’s favor. It’s the same reason family members aren’t permitted to be references on job applications. While there are several teams in which you could see them lying against Ben in an effort to keep him suspended longer (Browns, Ravens, Bengals, Patriots, Colts, Jets, Chargers would be the main culprits with Falcons, Titans, Bucs, and Dolphins thrown in due to scheduling), that still leaves *20* other teams who stand to gain very little, if anything, from Ben’s suspension.
    ——————————————————–

    Are you serious? Talking to a bunch of guys who don’t know Ben is somehow “better”? Oh, and I guess it doesn’t work the other way — enemy players are certainly going to be all unbiased and impartial when it comes to their statements, right? Do you even have a clue what you’re talking about? Like I said, this whole suspension thing was a sham from day one.

    And that’s not even the point — it’s that Goodell betrayed confidential and private information which could only embarrass a player if released. And did it right before the post-season began. That’s the real outrage here. Anyone who works for a company knows the Human Resource person never divulges details of an employee investigation.

    Goodell was all about secrecy and none of your business when it came to Spygate and the Favre thing. But for Ben, so what, I’ll blab on all over the place. Nothing to hide here! If you can’t get this simple concept, I have no idea why.

  62. ampatsisahypocrite says: Feb 2, 2011 1:55 PM

    Are you serious? Talking to a bunch of guys who don’t know Ben is somehow “better”? Oh, and I guess it doesn’t work the other way — enemy players are certainly going to be all unbiased and impartial when it comes to their statements, right? Do you even have a clue what you’re talking about? Like I said, this whole suspension thing was a sham from day one.

    ————————————

    Maybe you should read more closely because I commented DIRECTLY on that possibility. There were still 20 teams that had nothing to gain from attacking Ben. And somehow I doubt he went to only the Ravens, Pats, Colts, Jets, Browns, and Bengald players for these statements. Also notice I never said going to other players was better; I only contested the thinking that going to Steeler players was better since they have every reason in the world to put Ben in a favorable light.

    Whether he talks to players on other teams or not, talking to any Steeler player is a worthless conversation.

  63. Let’s bottom line this: It was entirely about Goodell’s ego.

    Goodell was completely out of line with his comments about Roethlisberger and other players and he put himself above the players and the league office when he made them.

    King’s decision to print Goodell’s incendiary comments without any corroborating comments from players was highly questionable at best and professionally irresponsible at worst. Doing so only served to stroke Goodell’s ego and grease King’s future access.

    IF – IF Dan or Art Rooney privately called out Goodell for making such inappropriate comments, then Goodell received exactly what he deserved from the owners who backed him the most in his bid for Commissioner.

  64. steelersmichele says: Feb 2, 2011 10:22 AM

    There was one part of the interview that stood out–where Goodell said other players complained that Ben wouldn’t sign their jersey.

    Really? In determining Ben’s character and whether or not he violated the personal conduct policy, Goodell used the fact that Ben wouldn’t sign jerseys as one reason for suspending him.

    Some players charge a ridiculous amount of money to sign anything? Is that any worse?

    I think after the SB, Ben should give his own interview and disclose some of the information from his meeting with Goodell. See how Roger likes it.
    ________________________________
    I like this idea in your last sentence. I’m a Pats fan and I have already posted on here how absolutely sickening it was of Goodell to disclose this info at all.
    If he thinks some weaksauce about BR not signing jerseys is the biggest reason via other players opinions that BR’s deserving of a suspension then that’s almost as pathetic as his disclosing anything in the first place.
    Also I have to concur with the timing of this as well. The interview is done 1/7 and it comes out NOW? Too convenient. When would the oh so integrity filled King have published this had the Steelers not made the playoffs at all? The 12th of never?

    I hate King regardless of whether he praises or criticizes my team. It will never change the fact that like Goodell, he is a self important PC loving gasbag.

    Maybe some Steelers fans have just a tiny bit of understanding they may not have before over what we Pats fans went through with Tomase and his blatant and unsupported by any fact lies vis a vis Matt Walsh that CONVENIENTLY came out RIGHT before SB 42. Tomase’s lies are STILL regurgitated as truth by Pats haters. The damage that people who have an official public forum such as reporters and the commish can do with their words is long term and insidious. You can’t un-ring those bells. It’s blatantly irresponsible and extra loathsome.

  65. This was April 2007…How will Goodell discipline himself?

    NFL Notebook: Commissioner apologizes for leaking confidential info
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    NEW YORK — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell apologized Friday to Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson and Clemson’s Gaines Adams for the release of information from confidential interviews at the league’s combine in February.

    Johnson and Adams were among five players expected to be drafted early today who visited league headquarters Friday. They are in town as part of a predraft media tour.

    Goodell told both he was sorry for the breach of confidentiality. The commissioner already has warned the 32 teams in a memo that further leaks will be disciplined.

    A recent story in Pro Football Weekly identified Johnson, Adams and Louisville’s Amobi Okoye as admitting they experimented with marijuana.

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