Ravens running back Ray Rice is done in the NFL, according to Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Kraft said on CBS This Morning that he can’t imagine any NFL owner being willing to have Rice on his team after seeing the video of Rice beating up his wife.
“Well, I don’t think he will play another NFL game,” Kraft said. “I would be shocked if some team would pick him up.”
But while Kraft was outraged at the Rice video, he isn’t joining in the widespread outrage at Roger Goodell’s too-slow reaction to the Rice case. Kraft said Goodell did everything he could with the information he had.
“He had no knowledge of this video,” Kraft said. “The way he has handled this situation himself, coming out with the mea culpa in his statement a couple weeks ago, or ten days ago, and setting a very clear policy of how we conduct ourselves in the NFL, I thought was excellent. Anyone who is second guessing that doesn’t know him.”
Of course, it’s fair to ask why Goodell hadn’t seen the video. If the NFL had done a more thorough investigation, Goodell would have seen the video. And instead of praising Goodell for his mea culpa regarding the initial two-game suspension, why not criticize Goodell for having to deliver that mea culpa in the first place?
Those are the questions being asked outside the NFL, but Goodell’s bosses — the owners — still approve of the job he’s doing. The NFL is more profitable than ever, and as long as Goodell doesn’t do anything that changes that fact, Kraft and his fellow owners will embrace Goodell. Even if they know Goodell screwed up in his handling of Rice.