Goodell says evidence was “ambiguous” before video emerged


On Tuesday, the CBS Evening News played a portion of Norah O’Donnell’s interview with Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the Ray Rice situation.  On Wednesday, the entire interview aired on CBS This Morning.

After explaining at length the efforts to get the video of the punch that knocked out Janay Rice, Goodell said that the league didn’t have a clear picture of what happened before the video surfaced.

“[W]hen we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened,” Goodell said.

But what was ambiguous about her laying unconscious on the floor being dragged out by her feet?” O’Donnell asked.

There was nothing ambiguous about that,” Goodell said.  “That was the result that we saw.  We did not know what led up to that.  We did not know the details of that.  We asked for that on several occasions.  It was unacceptable in and of itself what we saw on the first tape.  And that’s why we took action, albeit insufficient action.  And we acknowledge that, we took responsibility for that — I did personally — and I take responsibility for that now.  But what we saw [Monday] was extremely clear and graphic and was absolutely necessary for us to take the action we did.”

It remains unclear how any ambiguity existed, given the plain language of the criminal complaint, which alleges that Rice committed assault “by striking [Janay] with his hand, rendering her unconscious.”  And that’s really the question that needs to be answered.  How was anything ambiguous?  And if it was ambiguous to the point that it conflicted with the plain terms of the criminal complaint, why wasn’t every effort made to resolve the ambiguity with indisputable visual evidence?

Rice’s lawyer had the tape.  The NFL, as best anyone can tell, inexplicably didn’t ask Rice or his lawyer for the tape.

At one point in the interview, Goodell cited an “ongoing criminal investigation” as one of the reasons for law enforcement to not produce the tape.  But Rice was accepted into a diversionary program in the middle of May.  At that point, the “ongoing criminal investigation” had ended.  His suspension wasn’t imposed until late July.

If the circumstances were ambiguous without the tape because Rice, his wife, or his representatives lied to the team or the league, the NFL needs to say that, quickly.  For now, it appears that the league knew or had reason to know that Ray Rice threw a punch, that it hit Janay in the head, and that it knocked Janay out before Monday.  Apparently, the second suspension happened only because everyone can now see with their eyes what the NFL should have been able to reconstruct based on the facts that were available to it.

157 responses to “Goodell says evidence was “ambiguous” before video emerged

  1. “We did not know what led up to that.”, sounds like the NFL thought there was a possibility Janay started it and that it mattered.


  2. Let’s face it, these guys only step into action when things become a PR problem.

    NBA — knew Sterling was a racist but only took action when comments became “public.”

    NFL — knew Rice beat his wife but only took real action when the video went “public.”


  3. Why did the police say struck with “hand” not struck with “fist”? While technically correct, it implies much less than what actually happened and they knew what happened.

  4. My guess is that Ray’s wife (the actual victim) played up how aggressive she was being and said she attacked Ray. They probably said Ray “pushed/shoved” her hard to keep her away and she hit her head on the rail and got knocked out.

    I actually believe that Goodell went with 2 games because in a twisted way he was trying to appease Ray’s wife who was probably begging and pleading not to punish Ray because she probably described herself as an aggressor and Ray just lost his cool. Saying how it’s never happened before. Etc…

    What a mess…

  5. Step down from your vastly overpaid job you fraud.Your influence on the NFL is nothing but bad,from penalties for hard LEGAL hits to the now calling it tight on the defense to bring even more scoring so we can make the game I once loved nothing more than a video game to make “fantasy football” people happier. Of coarse Rogers ALWAYS goal MORE MONEY even charging the super bowl half time performers for the privilege of being that half time act.I am totally serious step down you total fraud,like the owner of the Dallas Mavericks has said your taking things to far and ruining the game

  6. One thing I dont get is everyone was screaming that the NFLs punishment wasn’t stiff enough and when they get the out to make a sufficient punishment everyone keeps screaming.

  7. And the owners are backing him on how he’s handled this? Seriously… Integrity of the shield be damned. As long as their 44 million dollar man keeps increasing revenue, he’s safe.

  8. Keep trickling out selective, incomplete, unbelievable, and contradictory statements, Roger. That’s gotta be the first rule of crisis managament right?

  9. One of his responses on her question about no one in the NFL seeing the video:

    ROG: NO one has seen it, not to my knowledge.

    Not to my knowledge is code for that’s what I’m telling you now, so that when it gets proven someone did, u can’t call me a liar

  10. Go ahead Roger keep digging that hole a little bit deeper. I like watching you squirm and dance around these questions. Just like you told Sean Payton “even if you didn’t know, it’s YOUR responsibility to know”. As the say if it’s good for goose…… you know the rest. Year long suspension for Roger Goodell. Better yet he should just resign.

  11. I’m confused to what responsibility Goodell speaks of. Did he get fined? Reprimanded? Fired? No, he did not. There is no consequence for his inept investigating and leadership. He still is sticking to the story as he did not know and did not see the tape? The public is not buying his propaganda! It is time to the owners to step up and remove this clown.

    He had no problem suspending players that had no evidence of any crime!

  12. The reality is what was on the video did not lead to the Ravens cutting Rice and the NFL suspending him indefinitely. The league and the Ravens were simply reacting to the public outcry over the video. The Ravens and the NFL were both fully aware of what was on the video before it was released to the public. The Ravens have every right to cut the player they just should have done so a month ago. But does the league have the right to suspend him indefinitely? Their new policy says 6 games for a first offense. The 2 games Goodell gave Rice was ridiculous. But now to compensate for the incompetence they over react to the negative public attention, ignore their own brand new domestic violence policy, and suspend Rice indefinitely in a sad attempt to gain public support; which is impossible.

    Had the league done the right thing from the start, which in my opinion was suspending Rice for 8 games and requiring counseling for reinstatement, then none of this is happening right now.

  13. When Czar Roger suspended Sean Payton for a full season in Bounty Gate, he stated that whether Payton knew or didn’t know about the existence of a Bounty system was not that important. What was important, was that as a leader of the team, he should have known !!!

    Shouldn’t Roger apply this same standard to himself and Ravens management in this case???

    This guy is such an embarrassing hypocrite it’s almost comical. Yesterday he told CBS that the league only desires information from “credible sources” but in Bounty Gate he built the league’s whole case on information provided by disgruntled ex employees, convicted felons, etc., and botched the whole thing to the extent that the ex-Commissioner had to come in and clean it up by throwing out the player suspensions because of the lack of hard evidence.

    Wake up owners and quit defending this guy because on his watch you’ve made lots of money. Heed the words of Mark Cuban — you’re losing touch with your fan base!!!!

  14. Godell is a liar. They saw the tape previously. The DA saw it to and chose not to prosecute. You will never convince me that law enforcement and league security officials did not gain access to the video.This was a combined and controlled effort to subvert justice on so many levels…..

  15. What a joke. You have your own team of investigators who never thought to ask the hotel if they had video surveillance??? Not to mention a hotel employee has come out and said that absolutely the NFL saw that tape. He was hoping to keep a star on the field and cover it up, and i wonder how much they paid Ray’s fiance to ‘apologize’ for her part in it all. He is as bad as Rice.

  16. Just think, if the Casino hadn’t closed and the employees forced to look for other income, the video would still be in the Casino vaults.

    Ray would have it, the police would have it, the casino would have it but the NFL would still would not have it.

    How many other NFL players would there be public outrage for if there was public video? Hardy? Ray McDonald? Brandon Marshall (multiple times)?

    I think as a society we are conditioned by Youtube and Vine that if there isn’t a video clip of it, it doesn’t really register.

    The impact of words among today’s population is far less than words.

    The public wouldn’t care if you got away with murder if it was a short text article.

  17. And since the judge and prosecutor went light on him, everyone expects the employer to carry out justice. No questions for the people who filed the charges and doled out the legal punishment? It’s lazy to blame Goodell and expect him exact vengeance for the mob after the elected and appointed officials failed to.

  18. If he saw that tape he should be fired. If he didnt see the tape he should also be fired for not doing his job. This makes me question every other scandal. The bountygate, spygate, redskins cap penalty, incognito story. Its all up in the air now. Did he “Assume” things in those cases too. This is a joke from the top down

  19. Goodell made it clear to the Saints and particularly S. Payton, that even though he did not know about bounty gate, it is still his responsibility because its his locker room.

    Does this same standard apply to Goodell?

  20. I read that the prosecutors and state attorneys said it would have been illegal for the NFL to see the 2nd video. Welp, someone from NFL saw it and described the contents to Mort months ago.

    Subpoena Mort, get the source, get the truth.

  21. Whoever investigated this for the league and for the Ravens is either extremely lacking in integrity or extremely incompetent. I work in the legal industry and am familiar with risk management and internal investigations and some of the most basic steps have been missed by both entities. I am not sure if Goodell or Csss should be fired (yet), but am absolutely sure there are people in the legal department and in public relations that have absolutely no business keeping their jobs after this fiasco. First year law students would have been more thorough.

  22. Flat out lying. There is nothing that Roger Goddell’s NFL doesn’t know or for that matter can’t find out. They had no desire to address the issues of domestic abuse. Hypocrite.

  23. It’s very surprising that the Goodell and Ravens have not yet thrown Rice, his lawyer and his fiancé under the bus for misleading the NFL about what happened on the elevator. While that excuse doesn’t absolve the NFL from a negligent investigation, saying “we were lied to about what happened on the elevator” sounds a lot better than “we didn’t try hard to find out what happened on the elevator.”

  24. Goodell is lying about not having seen the video before TMZ aired it. The NFL is a multibillion dollar juggernaut with a security force filled with lots of former members of major law enforcement agencies and they can’t get their hands on a casino videotape? Nobody should buy that story for a second.

    I believe Goodell and the NFL are engaging in a major cover up over the Ray Rice debacle. The Ravens and their owner clearly wanted Goodell to go lightly on Rice and he obliged them and now it’s blowing up in all their faces. The NFL media was also complicit in it. Sure they criticized Goodell for the light two game suspension but none of them was interested in digging too deeply into what really happened in the elevator and there was an assumption that Janay Rice was at least partly responsible for it.

    Everyone knew that there was a video from inside the elevator yet none of the major sports media organizations showed any interest in obtaining it. Their financial ties with the NFL are too strong and their reporters prize their access and NFL insider status too much to make any real effort to pull back the curtain on the NFL and report what’s really going on. The fact that it took an outside media organization like TMZ to obtain and make public the video speaks volumes about the incestuous relationship between major sports media and the NFL.

    What’s changed now is that this is no longer a sports story, it’s a national story and there are reporters getting involved in it who aren’t beholden to the NFL for access and benefits. I also think there are NFL reporters who know damn well that the league is lying about when they saw the video and are angry enough at Goodell to actually go after him.

    This story is a long way from being over. It’s the cover up rather than the original crime that usually brings down powerful people so I think Goodell is at real risk of losing his job. We’ll see how it plays out.

  25. I just hope that every criminal complaint with similar wording is treated the same, and punishment administered much more quickly that in this case.

  26. I’m not defending the league because I just don’t believe them/Goodell in the whatsoever….

    But KO punches exist in different forms. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say that, if her story is that she was coming after him repeatedly and he was defending himself, that a wild defense strike could render an aggressive and drunk Woman unconcious.

    I don’t think any of the public who hadn’t seen the video expected to see a kind and gentle KO punch but to see a cold, borderline deadly, attack against a woman from a trained athlete like that did make it different. An accident that led to the first video we saw is not OK and worthy of trouble…the actions confirmed by the video are worthy of much more than “trouble”.

  27. I’m not buying the Commish’s story! Didn’t need the video to understand the depth of the issue. Police report and the end result of the video was more than enough to suspend Rice indefinitely until his criminal matter was resolved next year. That would have been the best thing to do for all involved and then when the video is released it would have validated the suspension. Everthing this week is all about PR and the NFL imagine.

  28. You know what…either Goodell is a complete dunce when it comes to judging situations such as this …or he lies like hell to cover up his inability to apply simple “common sense”.

    Either way, Goodell is not qualified to be the commissioner of the NFL.

  29. Knocking someone unconscious should have been enough Very disappointing that we hear Goodell defending the logic. It really makes me question the motivation of the organization,

  30. >>It remains unclear how any ambiguity existed, given the plain language of the criminal complaint

    Because the plain language in many complaints are fabrications or outright false many times. That’s why all cases are reviewed. And at the time they had seen only an aftermath.

    Try again.

  31. He’s a pretty smart guy not to realize that nearly everything he says on this matter sounds both calculated and bogus. He really needs to either speak sincerely or just not speak at all.

  32. Nothing ambiguous about what happened before the second video.
    2 People get on an elevator.
    I leaves the elevator walking, the other is dragged out unconscious.
    Connect the dots. Ray Rice knocked her out.
    The reason is irrelevant.
    Goodell should resign.

  33. What was ambiguous about her laying unconscious on the floor? Answer: A lot. Like exactly what events led to her being in that state.

    This is not meant to justify the NFL’s actions (or inaction). Or to offer support to Ray Rice. It’s just to point out the ridiculousness of the question.

  34. Really, Goodell? “[Ambiguity] of what really happened” (coupled with willful blindness) is the best excuse you can come up with?

    I would love to hear Goodell be asked about the reports of Peter King and Chris Mortensen that officials of both the NFL and the Ravens saw the video before Goodell initially handed down Rice’s 2 game suspension.

    I know it wouldn’t lead to a Perry Mason moment, but I would like to hear what lame explanation he could come up with.

  35. Look, RG admitted they should have handled it differently. What I’m tired of are these media-driven witchhunts full of second-guessing and after-the-fact judgments that only end when someone loses their job.

    I’m hoping the NFL owners stand with Rog, slap him on the wrist, and not give in to the media hysteria.

  36. Curious why there was not this much outrage for Donte Stallworth, Leonard Little and Josh Brent. Not defending Ray Rice in any way. Just wondering about why this case is prompting so much more public debate and anger than the other cases did.

  37. Let’s not dance around this. . The Ravens and the league thought Rice was in some sense justified for knocking her out because she provoked him. She even implied as much in her sad apology. . The new tape showed that not to be true. The Ravens and the league agreed with that clown on espn that women need to recognize their role in domestic violence. So sad and sick.

  38. What’s the over/under for Roger keeping his job as Commissioner?

    As motivation the owner’s may appreciate that the fans despise him and that we don’t like his changes to the game. The best of all world’s would be someone like Bart Giamatti (RIP) that the players, owners and fans can all rally around. Someone like Condi Rice may be a candidate that could stand up to the owner’s who are increasingly tone deaf to the fans.

  39. What’s even more amazing is how complicit our national news (ok, entertainment) media is when it comes to the NFL. ABC (ESPN), CBS, FOX and NBC are so intertwined with the NFL (really would have to know what those contracts say) that their news outlets were all scooped by TMZ. All TMZ did was ask for the video. Nobody else asked? The national news is so in bed with their media partners, that they can’t bite the hand which feeds them. And if Rice had punched some random person in that elevator (not domestic violence) would that result in less of a punishment? What about the kids in college who do the same? Will the NFL impose new guidelines as to who or which round these guys can be drafted?

    And what happens if Rice has suffered too many concussions, like a boxer, and just heard a bell go off, unable to restrain himself? A disease?

  40. Here’s some sound logical thought, and I’m not making anywhere year 44 million a year like Mr Goodell…you know what would’ve cleared up that ambiguity? Demanding to see the tape.

  41. The only thing that’s ambiguous and unclear at this point is: Why is Goodell still the NFL commissioner?

  42. The only way nfl will start listening to fans/ public is by cutting their revenue i.e boycott games and stop buying from their advertisers…

    Then again everyone will forget about this in a month or so…. That’s why big business’ have their way and are corrupted…

  43. Dude drags his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator and stands over her nudging her with his foot and showing total disregard.

    You’re right Roger, could have been anything.

    Fire Goodell.

  44. Goodell just needs to admit that the league didn’t want to deal with the situation and was lazy in its investigating because …another battered woman just isn’t high on the NFL’s list of concerns.

  45. Lets keep this simple… Goodell needs to go, If the owners won’t fire him the politicians of this country will make the NFL wish it had. Goodell has become and anchor… fine when you want to sit still but a real drag when you want to move forward. Him and his “barnacle” cronies just need to go.

    Oh and the fuzzy photo of Goodell … .. perfect for how he is perceived Kudo’s for that irony.

  46. not sure who comes out looking worse in this, Goodell or the Ravens….I’m going with the Ravens

  47. The police report was very clear. It stated that Rice struck his then girlfriend with his hand. The NFL looks like the Keystone Cops on this issue. But now a precedent has been established – anyone guilty of domestic violence has to have their contract terminated by the team and be suspended indefinately.

  48. Lets call this for what it is. All the second video did was give Goodell the excuse he needed to cover his own behind. Rice should have received the indefinate supension the first time around. Then came the public backlash. Then Goodell saw the video and a lightbulb went off. And he used the the second video as his reason for new suspension that should have been handed down in the first place. Perhaps Goodell thought the second video would allow him to save face with the public by increasing the suspension, but all it did was piss of the public even more because all it showed was his incompetance.

  49. This poor excuse of a NFL Commissioner has done everything to destroy the integrity of the game.

    He needs to resign in the face of this debacle.

  50. Ambiguity??? Here are the facts that was presented to Goodell, A tape showing Rice dragging Janay out of the elevator and a confession from Rice hitting Janay. No assumptions, no ambiguity. It’s rather very clear.

  51. This is taking the shape of a classic “cover up”…

    But what the heck are they trying to cover up?

  52. The reality is what was on the video did not lead to the Ravens cutting Rice and the NFL suspending him indefinitely. The league and the Ravens were simply reacting to the public outcry over the video. The Ravens and the NFL were both fully aware of what was on the video before it was released to the public. The Ravens have every right to cut the player they just should have done so a month ago. But does the league have the right to suspend him indefinitely? Their new policy says 6 games for a first offense. The 2 games Goodell gave Rice was ridiculous. But now to compensate for the incompetence they over react to the negative public attention, ignore their own brand new domestic violence policy, and suspend Rice indefinitely in a sad attempt to gain public support; which is impossible.

    Had the league done the right thing from the start, which in my opinion was suspending Rice for 8 games and requiring counseling for reinstatement, then none of this is happening right now.

  53. Remember the league’s constant reference to “50,000 pages of evidence” during Bountygate? How about their approval of Ted Wells’ exceptionally slow and pricey investigation of the Incognito/Martin fiasco?

    Ah, but now I’m supposed to believe that Goodell shrugged his shoulders and moved on when he couldn’t get access to the tape. Sure, Rog. Nothing fishy there.

  54. Gents – have you seen the report about our buddy Jerry???? You know, the owner, general manager, head coach, doctor, lawyer, water boy and now the “John”, Jerry???

  55. Goodell Excavating Inc.

    “We dig holes faster and deeper!”

    I guess if the woman being dragged from the elevator had been dead, that would have warranted a 6 game suspension until less “ambiguous” evidence was presented.

  56. Goodell never saw evidence that he actually hit her, and the case was dismissed in court. So he didn’t feel he could levy a huge suspension on the guy, and didn’t feel the need to really dig into the case more since he was let off in court. He’s now reacting to the public outcry.

  57. Goodell must be providing the thumbs down in this message board.

    No one cares, Roger. We all despise you now, and you can’t change that fact.

  58. Ambiguity?

    Funny, he never used that word after any of the appeals where he upheld his decision.

    The only ambiguity was whether the NFL could keep this under wraps.

  59. Every time Roger opens his mouth, his foot goes in a little deeper. He really is a disgrace.

    I know a lot of people who are on the verge of tuning out the NFL completely (including myself) and this sordid incident wont help any.

    When you have people like the Dawg Killa Vick and Ray Lewis weighing in on a topic, you know youre on the highway to hell.

  60. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, please welcome the new Commission of the National Football League – Dr. Condoleeza Rice.

  61. Was anyone confused about why Ray Rice was suspended before he was banned? I don’t see how the elevator video should have changed anything, because the reason for punishment is still the same.

    Also, it’s pretty clear that the two people hurt by changing the penalty are Roger Goodell and the fiancé/wife. None of this makes sense to me. It’s like the entire subplot of ESPN’s series Playmakers playing out…

  62. Time to weigh in. Personally, I like Goddell and I think he is doing a good job in trying to clean up the NFL. I believe it when he says that he did not see the tape until Monday. However, I have no idea how someone in the NFL office did not get the tape before TMZ or before they suspended Rice. The NFL and everyone these days is about second chances though, and although what he did was awful, he will probably get another chance because, even though he is on the decline, he is still an excellent and versatile football player. I can see Andy Reid, like he did with Michael Vick, taking a look at him and maybe signing him as a backup to Charles, who has proven to be injury prone.

  63. The more you hear Goodell spin it and how the owners back him up–creates an image in your mind of a typical owners meeting: the creepy scene in “Eyes Wide Shut.”

  64. Evidence for Bountygate was way more ambiguous and it’s main source, a very bitter Mike Cerullo whose poorly-spelled email was somehow enough to convince them of it’s veracity, yet that didn’t stop Goodell from laying the hammer down when it benefitted the NFL who was facing concussion lawsuits. Goodell is a serial liar. He screwed up and is excusing it very poorly. He doesn’t make good decisions. He tried to foist unpopular things like 18 game seasons and pretend fans support blackouts, when fans don’t want those things and all it’s about is money. He has provided several bad PR nightmares for the NFL and has shown himself to be out of touch with players and fans. He needs to go.

  65. Until he saw the video, Goodell was with everyone who thought she passed out from the rapid decent of the elevator vacuuming all the O2 from the elevator.
    How else could she have been unconscious, when the elevator door opened? Thankfully, Ray was there for her.
    Cue John Lovitz, “Yeah, that’s it. That’s what happened, yeah, it was the elevator”

  66. Seems there are a lot of people who are cynical about Goodell’s honesty.

    I’m not 1 of them, there’s a couple of things he said in the interview with CBS that makes me believe he IS telling the truth;

    Fact#1 The NJ Attorney General stated flat out that the 2nd video is Grand Jury material and there for it would have been improper…in fact, “illegal” for the Atlantic County Prosecuter’s Office to provide it to an outside/private//non law enforcement entity.

    Fact#2 Goodell stated that they use ONLY the Law Enforcement Agencies to gather “credible” information. Let’s face it TMZ get’s it wrong plenty of times.

    That pretty much clinches ANY doubt in my mind that Goodell is telling the truth. You want to bag on him for making all that money or changing the NFL to a safer & more Law Abiding environment of the Players fine.

    But you can’t say he’s putting on a Cover Up for this Rice incident.

  67. this guy is done. there are so many more lies in this interview that when anyone with a bit of reporting ability (eliminating most of the sports hacks too lazy to report) begins to look at them, the house of cards will fall.

    if he lasts the season i will be surprised.

  68. Everyone knew what happened from the first tape: conscious woman and man enter an elevator in the midst of an argument. Unconscious woman is pulled out of the elevator by the same man that entered it with her. Man who was in the elevator admitted that he hit the woman to cause her injury.

    What did the second tape add?

    The only way the NFL and the Ravens were ok with the very mild sentence from that facts set out above is if they had some sort of a mitigating factor to hang their hat on. There had to be something that occurred during the “unavailable footage” that would excuse the awfulness of the crime. The elephant in the room is that perhaps everyone in power (surprise, mostly (all?) men) assumed (or were told) she was either the aggressor or, in laymen’s terms, “asking for it.” What on earth else could it have been? This isn’t a Sherlock Holmes case. There’s no third person in the elevator.

    The only way the second tape makes any difference at all now to the NFL or the Ravens is that perhaps when they saw the tape, the actual image of Janay Rice “asking for it” and getting “it” didn’t really match their expectations. Did they think she was Xena, Warrior Princess or something?

    The whole episode is incredibly shameful. It’s not about the second tape at all, it’s what they assumed about the moment of time not shown on the first tape. By giving Rice 2 games, the powers that be likely assumed that somehow Janay Rice partially deserved what transpired in that elevator. Even if she did say that she was the aggressor, people should have known better. Janay Rice lives with and is married to someone who has literally knocked her out, she’s not exactly an impartial witness with no stake in the outcome of any NFL action against her husband.

  69. It’s sick that Ray Rice gets to keep the signing bonus money. I really dislike these up-front payments that Ray Rice and Kyle Orton get to keep even though their actions make them unavailable to the teams.

  70. Of course Robert Kraft came out and gave a vote of confidence to this nightmare of a commish… Kraft also came out a few weeks back in support of a franchise in London…. You have to wonder what is Kraft’s motivation to ALWAYS support this idiot? Refs in his back pocket on Sundays

  71. I thought Goodell was a PR guy. A woman being dragged out of an elevator unconscious and the man admitting to throwing the punch? Assured incarceration in most states.

  72. The law says person who commits assault can be male or female. That’s what I saw on the video from the elevator, she hit him or spit on him and he hit her. I personally have no problem hitting a smaller male or female that hits me. When Ray’s wife was apologizing for her part that was what she was referring to. Of course he hit her too hard and should have consequences however sh should have consequences for her actions also

  73. “…now a precedent has been established – anyone guilty of domestic violence has to have their contract terminated by the team and be suspended indefinately.”

    And only weeks after an official rule was put in place stating 1st offense is 6 weeks, 2nd lifetime ban.

    Not supporting Ray Rice in any way, but Goodell has opened a door for a lawsuit that should be fairly easy to win for Rice.

  74. Call Goodell a lot of things but he’s not stupid.

    If the NFL had seen this video – does anyone really think they would have ignored it? One has to have thought the odds would be high it would eventually end up in court (when the young lady sues either for money or divorce) if not the media.

    [As for Goddell’s overall performance, Remember in the NFL, just like MLB, NBA and NHL – the commish works for the owners, not the players or fans. A Commish’s job description is to feed off of your negative criticism.]

  75. This is a well written story that asks many of the questions that we all are wondering about. It also displays the dangers of having a single person making the decisions as well as the lack of investigation, in which the NFL (Commish, as well as Balt. Ravens) didn’t see everything because they didn’t want to see it. It does make me wonder what else went unnoticed on purpose.

  76. I’m not a Goodell fan but since when has the NFL become the primary law enforcement agency in the US? I think Goodell was correct in relying on what the local judicial officials did in this case. If his then fiancé and now wife wanted it to stop why is this all falling on Goodell’s shoulders now? This is what we pay police, judges, defense lawyers, prosecutors, and probation officers to handle, not the NFL.

  77. Every time The Commish. opens his mouth on this subject he sounds worse and worse. He is literally surrounded by lawyers and former FBI agents and Police. What could possibly be ambiguous?
    It a seems like everybody in the free world knew there was a PUNCH, in the elevator, that knocked the woman out. Does he really need a visual to render a decision?
    Enough already; the extended penalty was nothing more than ”face saving” from his earlier decision.

  78. Why isn’t anyone asking these questions to the local law enforcement officials rather than Roger Goodell

  79. Fine. You want to claim “ambiguity”? Then why are you punishing him at all for “ambiguous” evidence???? I have ambiguous evidence of you assaulting women. You gonna step down now?

    Napoleon dynamite voice: idiot!

  80. The NFL didn’t need to see they tape. They talked to Rice and his lawyer, they knew what was on there.

    Goodell is a robot programmed by the owners, with no soul or heart to interfere. He’s paid an outrageous salary and knows to keep his mouth shut less the faucet be turned off.

  81. Between the new CBA and Goodell’s proposed changes (kick offs , extra pts etc) NFL games suck until mid October… Instead of coaching the players how to tackle properly and quit the ESPN highlight reel stuff, we have the weekly penalty and fine report to go with the weekly police blotter… its really turning into the No Fun League for the fans. get rid of Goodell!

  82. Its amazing that he couldn’t grasp the violence needed to strike someone hard enough to knock them out without the video. He watches enormous grown men hurtle themselves into each at high speed several times a week and have to wear hundreds maybe thousands of dollars worth of protective gear to keep from getting knocked out. He’s seen players get knocked out despite that gear, he knows how much violence it takes to knock someone out cold. Every football fan knows how much it would take, and was he OK with that much violence because he didn’t see it?

  83. “Ambiguous” when Rice was filmed dragging his unconcsicous girlfriend out of the elevator AND admitted to slugging her? This has very little to do with Rice and very much to do with Goodell and a CYA for his phony reputation as a disciplinarian and not so phony $44 million annual compensation package.

  84. “Why isn’t anyone asking these questions to the local law enforcement officials rather than Roger Goodell”

    They are.
    NYC tv stations were down in AC yesterday trying to track down the prosecutor. Unsurprisingly, he was not available (and again, the prosecutor is a Rutgers alumnus)

    Also, NJ’s Senate President, has called for an investigation into what decision making goes into the pre-trial intervention program.

  85. Dear Commissioner Goodell, YOU DIDN’T DO ENOUGH regarding this issue, before the video even was released by TMZ!!! You didn’t do your job in the capacity that is required. You should resign immediately or be fired. That’s the name of that tune!!

  86. GOD-dell is just another millionaire who thinks that making money is what defines greatness in a man. He’s a phony who is not only an embarrassment to the league, but more importantly, his family.

  87. The video we all saw last winter was ambiguous. It basically showed the outcome of an incident. Armchair analysts can infer anything they want to about the incident. But that’s the law doesn’t infer anything, whether we like it or not. The law deals in fact and, where there’s ambiguity, errs on the side of caution. This isn’t just Goodell’s approach, it’s the core of our entire legal code. So viewed strictly in that frame, there’s no contesting what Goodell said. However, there seems (there’s that word, ‘seems’) to have been a very lukewarm effort by the NFL to get all the facts. TMZ was clearly more motivated to do so than the NFL legal team was.


    “There was nothing ambiguous about that,” Goodell said. “That was the result that we saw. We did not know what led up to that. We did not know the details of that. We asked for that on several occasions. It was unacceptable in and of itself what we saw on the first tape. And that’s why we took action, albeit insufficient action. And we acknowledge that, we took responsibility for that — I did personally — and I take responsibility for that now. But what we saw [Monday] was extremely clear and graphic and was absolutely necessary for us to take the action we did.”

  89. I hate to say it but TMZ has some big time credibility. They might be a tabloid news company but isn’t it ironic they are usually right all the time LOL.

  90. Goodell is a liar. How is that he seems to have a problem with violence in a game that is fundamentally based on violence, yet a grown man knocking out a woman barely registers on his meter and merits only a two-game suspension? He needs to be fired and the new Commissioner needs to ensure that Rice never plays another down in the NFL – ever!

  91. Roger, it’s you who needs help. Resign already. You have screwed up the NFL so badly. Wow! And your lying techniques are getting old.

  92. This week’s CMON MAN segment should be nothing but clips of Roger Goodell mishandling the Ray Rice fiasco.

  93. There was nothing ambiguous about a police report citing assault

    And the evidence that the assault knocked a woman unconcisous

    Forget about whether this video was ever seen

    Based upon that non-ambiguous evidence, Goodell felt 2 games was an adequate punishment – sending a clear message to abusers and the abused alike

    Plaxico Burress shoots himself? Four games. Another player smokes pot? An entire season.

    Beating a woman to near death? 2 games.

    Own it Roger – and do the right thing and step down.

  94. when the dust clears on all of this it’s not Goodell or the local prosecutor or the local judge who will suffer at all. the person who will take the most heat for the longest is his wife who wanted the damn thing buried. She might have been very silly to subsequently marry him but we aren’t in her shoes.

    People are dying in Africa from Ebola because of a lack of basic medical care and this issue has us and the media all worked up. I don’t get it.

  95. Ambiguous? Goodell is an idiot and in denial because there is nothing – absolutely nothing – ambiguous about Ray dragging Janay from an elevator when she was clearly unconscious. The more Goodell talks the more ignorant and disconnected he sounds.

    Goodell is avoiding the answers to tough questions he needs to answer. 1.) How did the celebrity gossip website TMZ obtain the elevator video while the league failed despite it’s billions of dollars in resources and glowing talk about the caliber of it’s security team. And 2.) after Goodell admitted yesterday that the thought another video tape existed, why did Goodell and the league fail to relentlessly purse their strong beliefs?

    It’s more evident than ever that Goodell needs to go and major changes need to happen with the NFL security team.

  96. I don’t like anything Roger Goodell has done for the NFL, from the inane rule changes overly protecting quarterbacks and wide receivers to the silly delays for instant replay to the overall watering down of what was once a great sport, all to make it more “family-friendly.” So, he does all this, and then, when the hammer should really be coming down after Rice’s criminal act of violence, he hems and haws and makes himself look ridiculous. Stop playing with the on-field rules and penalizing people for excessive celebrations and spiking footballs over goalposts in order to create a more “wholesome” product when the participants gets slapped on the wrist for being domestic abusers….total hypocrisy.

  97. Evidently Roger will not make many Xmas card lists from PST posters (see above 153 notes) but (besides his salary) why so many enemies from football fans? He is just a paper-work clerk employed by the owners.

  98. “The law says person who commits assault can be male or female. That’s what I saw on the video from the elevator, she hit him or spit on him and he hit her. I personally have no problem hitting a smaller male or female that hits me. When Ray’s wife was apologizing for her part that was what she was referring to. Of course he hit her too hard and should have consequences however sh should have consequences for her actions also”

    Yeah, but in the real world, the fact is that if a woman hits a man, the ONLY thing for him to do is walk away. It may not be fair, but the male is the physically stronger sex. He can never use that advantage over a woman in a confrontation.

  99. In response to another post, how exactly is Goodell trying to “clean up” the NFL? By banning spiking after a touchdown? By not allowing defenders to fart on an offensive player? By delaying the game with inane video reviews that take forever to sort out? This is progress? Please. I liked it better thirty years ago, when you still have outstanding offenses, but they actually had to earn their yards and points (read SF 49ers under Bill Walsh and Redskins with Joe Gibbs). Football was much funner and exciting back then. Now, it’s simply a serious of commercial ads interrupted by occasional action.

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