In the wake of a call from Senator Heidi Heitkamp that Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign, Goodell addressed his job status during an interview with Norah O’Donnell of CBS.
While not part of the interview that was televised during the CBS Evening News, O’Donnell explained to anchor Bob Schieffer that she asked Goodell whether his job is on the line.
“No,” Goodell told O’Donnell. “I’m used to the criticism. I’m used to that. Every day, I have to earn my stripes.”
Most calls for Goodell to resign have arisen from the suspicion that the NFL saw the video that was released by TMZ on Monday before suspending Rice only two games. Goodell insisted that the NFL did not have access to the video.
“I got into the office [on Monday] and our staff had come to me and said, ‘There’s new evidence. There’s a video that you need to see.’ And I watched it then,” Goodell said. “We had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the video. We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. But we were not granted that opportunity.”
So how did TMZ but not the NFL get the video?
“I don’t know how TMZ or any other website gets their information,” Goodell said. “We are particularly reliant on law enforcement. That’s the most reliable. It’s the most credible. And we don’t seek to get that information from sources that are not credible.”
But there are other reliable, credible sources than law enforcement. Did the league ask Rice to produce the video via his lawyer? If not, why not? Did the NFL ask the casino at which the incident occurred for the video? If not, why not?
Those questions weren’t asked. Also unasked, and unanswered, were questions regarding the specific law-enforcement agencies to whom the requests were made, and what those agencies had to say.
So while Goodell has addressed conclusively and credibly the question of whether the league had the video before Monday, the league continues to avoid the question of why the video wasn’t obtained. Unless and until that question is fully and completely answered, the controversy will linger and possibly grow, and public confidence in the NFL will not be fully restored.