Rockefeller wants to investigate NFL


During Wednesday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, an email emerged from the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding an executive session being scheduled for Wednesday September 17, 2014.

“Agenda is forthcoming,” the message said.  But since the message landed in the PFT inbox, I had a feeling it had something to do with the Ray Rice scandal.

It did and it does, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.  Per Salguero, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D.-W. Va.) wants to hold hearings regarding the NFL’s domestic violence problem.  Those hearings, if they happen, undoubtedly will address the botched Rice investigation — perhaps getting to the bottom of something the NFL may not be inclined to get to the bottom of.

Rockefeller, as Salguero points out, is retiring this year.  So it’s not an election-year ploy to win votes.

And before anyone says that Congress has better things to do, the NFL has grown over the years into an important public institution, with tax-exempt status for the league office, an exemption to the antitrust laws for its broadcast contracts, and many publicly-financed stadiums.

Besides, it’s important that a league that at times behaves as if it answers to no one answer at times to someone.  With fans not inclined to cut off their NFL habit to spite their painted faces, Congress becomes the best vehicle for ensuring that the NFL operates not as a tail-chasing echo chamber but as a responsible American institution.

146 responses to “Rockefeller wants to investigate NFL

  1. I’m sure the league is thrilled the talk is about Goodell and not the start of the season…..time to make these billionaires squirm, go get em Jay….

  2. Normally I would say that congress needs to worry about bigger problems however the NFL has become a country to itself with it’s own laws and justice system.
    This might actually make the owners nervous enough to say let’s cut bait with this commissioner, he’s served his purpose.
    They’ll set you up with a mighty nice severance package I’m sure.

  3. Don’t we have enough troubles in this country? Another stupid democrat senator grandstanding. Do your job and leave the NFL to be policed by its market. You have zero to add and you’re wasting taxpayer dollars bloviating.

  4. While we are at it. Can we have someone investigate Congress? Does anybody believe that they don’t completely run off their own agendas and pocketbooks?

  5. Goodell lies more than Art Modell lied to Cleveland while driving up Baltimore’s bribes, I mean “financial incentive offers”, for stealing the original Browns.

  6. How about worrying about the domestic violence laws in the US and not the “NFLs domestic violence problem.” Or big cable/internet companies and net neutrality or ISIS

  7. Ok this is starting to get ridiculous. Media is treating this like the NFL covered up murder. It’s important to resolve, but it’s not THIS big of a deal. Geez! Meanwhile, I’m just over here like… is it Sunday yet?

  8. You had it right the first time, congress needs to stay out of this. An inquiry on why they did or did not suspended a player?

  9. Why not let them figure it out on their own? I’m sure the players association, owners and fans could come to a better resolution that the US Government.

  10. My goodness this is out of control. It has just become sad on so many levels and has shown so many colors that I am beginning to seriously wonder harder than ever before about mankind and the media. The internet is going to destroy us which is sad because if this much energy was put on good then one can only imagine. But this is the real world.

  11. Glad to see the U.S. Senate has nothing better to spend it’s time and resources on. The government needs to stop wasting tax payer money in professional sports. Just like they did with steroids in the MLB.

  12. Interesting. Would they also be investigating the problems in baseball or basketball?

    It seems like the NFL is the only league doing anything about it and because of that Congress wants to investigate.

    So the answer is to let the inmates do whatever they want and Congress will leave you alone?

  13. Great, Congress is on the case. We can all rest easily tonight given their long record or honesty and diligence.

  14. Usually a publicity hungry politician sticking his nose into a professional sport irritates me to no end. In this case however, I say “Bring it on!”. I have been waiting for too long to see Roger get some comeuppance. Too bad he couldn’t destroy the tape like he did the Pats SB cheat tape.

  15. I’d prefer an investigation into the undue power and influence of the American corporate class which dictate policy, undermine democracy and are leading to feudalism and the destruction of the middle class.

  16. Congress have better things to do. There I said it.

    Of course it’s important the NFL set standards for the community and they have failed at times including a big failure here.

    But the legal system, courts and government are the people really entrusted with domestic violence policy.

    Crime, poverty, health, education. Fix those things and they’ll be less violence in all of society. And yes domestic violence occurs in the wealthy and educated but they’ll be less tolerance and more room in prisons to lock them away.

  17. So freakin stupid. The NFL is not our criminal justice system. How about you investigate the “justice system” that let the crime go unpunished even though we know 100% they had the video?

    These politicians need to stay out of this unless they want to investigate why our JUSTICE SYSTEM allows these guys to walk free. Since when is the burden on my employer to do full blown police investigations into things I do on my personal time.

    That is why we pay taxes and have police and a court system. If the courts find that I did something wrong, then my employer may want to punish me with their own digression. Since when is the burden placed on employers to do the justice systems job??

  18. Seriously…. Can anyone name a single thing our government has gotten right in the last 6-8 years? Anything at all? I can’t. So why would this be any different.

    They won’t investigate soldiers being killed in Benghazi but they want to jump all over this. Give me a break.

  19. You say…. And before anyone says Congress has better things to do…. At pretty much the same moment that Congress is considering a third middle eastern war….

    so yeah I tend to think that Congress does, in fact, have better things to do.

  20. The same Jay Rockefeller who bills taxpayers to fly private jets for the insanely long 60 mile flight from West Virginia to DC? The same Jay Rockefeller who is the third richest senator in the US? The same Jay Rockefeller whose travel costs are higher than all but eleven senators, including ones from Alaska? This all makes TOTAL sense.

  21. And the hole keeps getting bigger and bigger…and harder to dig out of. Roger needs a heavy-duty shovel!

  22. Why isn’t there same outrage over the local prosecutor who basically gave him a slap on the wrist.

    The NFL shouldn’t be judge, jury and executor in domestic cases. That is why we have a judicial system.

  23. Agenda:

    1.) Investigate why on earth spygate tapes were burned
    2.) investigate the blatantly obvious cap collusion case
    3.) investigate why some are saying the hotel refused to provide Ray Rice video while others are saying the hotel was never asked to provide it and would’ve willingly done so if asked.

    A Roger Goodell Hater

  24. Good bye good dell. Maybe the next commissioner will allow things like tackling and sacking the qb. And no game cheque fines if your sock slips down your leg.

  25. Who didn’t see this coming? A grandstanding politician grabbing attention on an issue he has no business being involved in. Congress is pathetic.

  26. What’s the big deal? It’s not like Ray Rice smoked a fat joint like Josh Gordon.

    Right, Goodell?

  27. I think Congress should get involved. The NFL enjoys the protection of federal law in the form of its anti-trust exemption, which is the single biggest reason for the NFL’s success. With that comes responsibility to answer to Congress.

  28. Get over it! I can’t believe the number of mindless sheep on here and other social outlets that just jump on any media bandwagon. The only laws that were broken were by Rice. The NFL and Goodell are only guilty of poor judgement at worst. But that’s not a sexy story……. Let’s make a huge conspiracy theory of it. Morons. This is absurd

  29. They should investigate how Rice was able to avoid jail time. If he was tried and jailed the NFL wouldn’t be in this mess. Of course 2 games was ridiculous and if the NFL hid that they had already seen the elevator video Goodell should resign. that being said the criminal justice system is supposed to deal with crimes such as these, that Rice and others are able to avoid prosecution is in my opinion the real problem here and should be getting more attention than it is.

  30. Where was the uproar when players were getting drunk and killing people with their vehicles? But a person gets punched and it’s the crime of the century! Way to pile on, everybody.

  31. Yes they have better things to do. What a joke. Rice and the cops who did nothing are the one to be pissed at.

  32. Its unfortunate that Goodell perpetuated this concept that the NFL will impose penalties for bad behavior off the field. It was a mistake then as it is now. Crimes should be adjudicated in the courts and if the NFL wants to impose penalties based on convictions according to a collective bargaining agreement, then thats fine (pun intended). But the NFL should not be in the business of collecting evidence and sitting in judgment of non-football activities. They’re having enough trouble figuring out how to consistently apply the on-field rules; they should leave the off field police work to those who are trained to do it.

  33. Anyone like to be a fly on the wall at NFL headquarters?

    A tape of those conversations would be gold!

  34. How about we investigate how to improve the economy?

    How about we investigate how to secure our borders?

    How about we investigate how to improve health care?

    Or I guess you can go with the massive problem with domestic violence in the NFL because that’s why you were elected.

  35. What does this have anything to do with Rokefellers Job? If a bunch of people working at target across the country get arrested for domestic violence.. is there a government investigation?


    The NFL is not liable for the actions of their employees on their own time. Individuals are responsible for themselves.

  36. Someone needs to investigate this corrupt liars, besides their own crack Security Dept.

    Call me crazy but Goodell has lied out of his backside from the beginning. Having his own team investigate the Commissioner, call me crazy but that’s an implied conflict of interest that won’t implicate Goodell.

    Rockefeller, or someone that refuses to be bought off by the NFL, and no conflicts of interest with the NFL.

    I’m sure Goodell appointed the Security Dept like he appoints “impartial” arbiters

  37. I’m not saying it’s okay but there are 3 examples of this in the NFL, where you have over 5000 players and employees. Domestic violence is worse in my hometown yet the NFL is getting magnified. They handled this wrong but the problem is very small in the NFL. One time it one time too many but there are not many examples of it in the NFL. It just so happens that when it happens once it is all over the news because it is the NFL. How about all the women out there getting beaten we don’t hear about?

    And from what I hear and see, Janay wasn’t completely innocent. It seems they just have that type of relationship where they hit each other and yell all the time. They need counseling big time. Both are a huge problem. Ray has zero morals based on that video as well.

  38. We’ve got terrorists out there, that should be Congress’s concern not the NFL. This IS NOT a socialist state yet

  39. If only someone, anyone, in government would hold hearings into ALL the domestic violence in our society. But this is a start.

  40. Yes, because when someone needs a multibillion dollar business regulated and held accountable for their actions, the US Congress is the best place to go.

  41. Insane. The NFL is a trade association dedicated to promoting the sport of football (something it’s obviously not excelling at right now), not a law enforcement agency overseeing the violence against women act. There were public officials who fell down in their duties–the judge and prosecutors in New Jersey who let Rice off with a wrist slap. They had an obligation to review the evidence, and for whatever reason did not do their jobs. Were Rice charged by the proper authorities, the NFL’s job (and the Ravens job) would have been much easier. Instead, the league was put into a role it is ill-suited to perform–investigating, prosecuting and judging crime.

    Rockefeller should look at government first, the NFL second.

  42. This country has enough problems that we don’t need the Senate involved with our sports or entertainment. These clowns can’t wait to get there hands on any issue that doesn’t involve them actually addressing the problems of this country. Why not start looking to fix the numerous problems we have with unemployment, health care, homelessness, prison system, etc. before we worry about the apparent Ray Rice epidemic that is affecting our country.

  43. If there are talks about losing the tax exemption then the owners will quickly show Roger the door.

  44. That’s great. I just wish they cared about Benghazi, the IRS cover up, the southern border invasion, etc. But I guess a football game is more important.

  45. Good grief. Politicians once again sticking their noses into something that is none of their business.

    “Let’s go investigate the NFL because by golly someone needs to pay!”

    If they want to help why don’t they go work on legislation that helps prevent violence against women across society? I mean come on…can’t they spend their time and our money on something that will actually help the victims and reduce or prevent the act from ever happening regardless of who is involved? Why didn’t they go after Ford or General Electric, or Microsoft, or any other major company when the spouse of one of their employees committed this terrible act, as I am sure has happened more than once.

    I vote my government into to office to do just that…govern. Start governing the act and stop chasing the publicity.

  46. Anyone named Rockefeller should question why he has it so good, while profiting on the back of the working man…if he’s one of THOSE Rocke-theivers-fellas.

  47. 92 Million out of work, fictious unemployment numbers, record high debt where if interest rates rise we couldn’t even make the payments, and open border while millions of illegals flow into the country…..Congress has better things to do!

  48. Congress has better things to do. You want something to hold the league accountable for, but this ain’t that something.

  49. This is not the business of Congress. It may be important and it may be a matter that interests the public, but that does not make its something that requires a Congressional investigation or Congressional oversight.

  50. Good lord, let’s bring in the politicians so they can get on the front page. The NFL is a private corporation, go waste tax dollars somewhere else. the federal govt blew almost 50 million on the Roger Clemens trial and it accomplished nothing , save making some lawyers rich on our backs.

  51. I’ve got a better idea for Jay Rockefeller. How about we investigate your family, which is one of the 2 most corrupt, greedy, despicable families on planet earth? How about that, Mr. Rockefeller?

  52. While I do think the NFL leadership needs a good shake down, congress needs one way way more. Why don’t you actually do something before turning your gaze to the NFL everytime they have issues.

  53. Oops! Here it comes. No longer will the League/Commish have control. When ya run a loose ship Rog, Things Fall Apart. ( Book Plug).

  54. These idiots think they can not get any actual legislation passed to benefit this country but think the People will be okay with them jumping on top of the NFL’s screwup before any of it????

  55. Congress should have nothing to do with this issue. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of issues that are more important for them to focus on than this.

  56. Seems like Mr Rockefeller needs some attention. This has nothing to do with the domestic violence and everything to do with his political career.

  57. The NFL has become a country to itself with it’s own laws and justice system because people can’t be bothered to fix the problems with the legal system this actual country has, so they turn to a sports body as a fantasy substitute.

  58. Under the stewardship of Rockefeller and congress, your children and grandchildren will inherit untold trillions of debt. It’s not congress’s fault, it’s yours Americans for electing them over and over. Now go do your little investigation that will have zero impact.

  59. And I want to hold hearings on why Rockefeller and his bankster cronies want to enslave the planet with debt!

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