On Tuesday, we made the case for the NFL hiring an independent investigator to get to the bottom of the botched Ray Rice investigation. On Wednesday night, after a bombshell report from the Associated Press placed a copy of the infamous elevator video inside the walls of 345 Park Avenue in April, the NFL decided to make the call for outside help.
The league has announced that former FBI director Robert Mueller will lead an independent investigation into the NFL’s handling of the Rice case. Presumably, the investigation will be far more independent and objective than the review conducted by Mary Jo White in the bounty case. Two years ago, White behaved as an independent advocate for the league’s hammering of the Saints, not as an independent investigator. It’s critical that Mueller be truly and completely independent, with no agenda or directive or predetermined outcome.
It’s also critical that his results be reported publicly. The league hid nothing regarding the bullying scandal in Miami. The league should hide nothing here.
Hiring an independent investigator was the only viable option. Entrusting the internal review of the Associated Press report to NFL Security made no sense, since NFL Security becomes the obvious starting point for the search for the culprit. Also, with a slew of early retirements, resignations, and possibly even terminations likely once the dust settles, NFL Security likely has the most to lose moving forward, since that’s the department initially responsible for the multiple failures of diligence, logic, and/or common sense.