Goodell promises transparency and accountability in future, offers little in present


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell broke his long silence on Friday afternoon in a press conference that opened with a lengthy statement promising accountability and transparency from the league in the future.

He offered very little of it in the present, however. Goodell consistently fell back on the talking points from his opening statement over the course of the 43 minute press conference that ended with several members of the media still waiting to ask questions.

In place of concrete answers to questions about why the NFL didn’t get the Ray Rice elevator video, why law enforcement in Atlantic City said they were never contacted by the NFL in an attempt to obtain the video and what ambiguities from Rice’s testimony led Goodell to suspend him indefinitely after finally seeing the video that showed exactly what the police report read, Goodell talked about forming new committees and former FBI head Robert Mueller’s investigation into the league’s handling of the matter.

Perhaps most telling was his unwillingness or inability to answer why it was so much more difficult for him to hand down the proper punishment in the Rice case than it has been in cases that didn’t deal with domestic violence. The man who opened the press conference by saying that he believes in accountability showed little of it in response by saying that the personal conduct policy, which Goodell oversees, was not sufficient to handle that particular case.

When Goodell wanted to be firm, he was. A question about possible conflict of interest for Mueller because his law firm WilmerHale has represented the client was met with Goodell saying that he hired Mueller because of Mueller’s credentials and not the firms. The rest was mushier, going back time and again to promises to fix the system with the help of other experts and the aforementioned committees.

That may lead some to wonder whether Goodell is an essential part of the process or if the man who wielded unilateral power as everything went haywire for the league stands in the way of the kind of changes that he said need to be made.

64 responses to “Goodell promises transparency and accountability in future, offers little in present

  1. Many new details to break, the we made a mistake is going to become the understatement of the year soon. Roger is lying & is hiding behind committee / appeals, the house of cards is soon to crash.

  2. If there is anyone who deserves to be viciously beating until scarred on their legs and scrotum… it would be roger goodell.

  3. What a pitiful, worthless PR sham put forth by Goodell today. The NFL can’t move forward on this without credibility, which Goodell clearly has lost to the full extent. He needs to resign.

  4. Whatever. Even if Goodell and the NFL handled it wrong, it isn’t their fault that there players who are beating people, etc. I smell too many PC liberals throwing mud at the wrong person here. Big wave-off.

  5. The Artful Rodger.

    “Lemmee ‘elp you on wit’ you’se coat, good sir. Oooh, it’s a bit lumpy then, i’nit? Smooth it out fer ye, kind gentleman, God Bless, an’ I’ll be off now….”.

  6. the soap opera will continue on social media. Meanwhile true football fans will still watch every second of the games they care about. That won’t change

  7. People who thought this was a bad press conference would not be happy with anything unless he just said “ok I’m resigning”.

    I dont care about the politics or whether it is flashy or if he looked good or bad. I care about the substance.

    There have already been changes made to the policy and I have no reason to think that more changes arent coming.

    What more, other than him quitting, do people want?

  8. To ensure transparency, abused and objectified women from all corners of the country sent Raj skimpy, see through lingerie items for him to wear while discharging his duties.

  9. If anyone doesn’t believe that the owners & Goodell are ruining the product on the field CLEARLY you missed last night’s game & pretty much every other Thursday night game. I turned both of this year’s Thursday night game off before the the first half. Yeah…It’s that bad. I’ve said this before & I’ll say it again–if Goodell stays it’s just a matter of time before the fans say enough of this garbage & then it will be too late to fix this.

  10. We’re not going to rest until the people who did this are brought to justice, now let’s go get a bite to eat.

  11. The players who committed these crimes against women and children should be the ones getting grilled by the so called media!! We should be focused on the victims in all of these cases, instead the so called media smells blood and they all want to bring down the mighty NFL, give me a break.

  12. Goodell can’t deliver transparency or accountability even if he truly wanted to because ultimately he does what the owners tell him to do. And the NFL owners have proven time and time again that they have no intentions of operating the league with transparency and accountability; they are only concerned about growing revenue.

  13. I love the NFL but the players should walk until the front office, and the Commissioner in particular, are held to the same conduct standards.

    When a player admits to screwing up, they lose their livelihood. But for Goodell, a half-assed “sorry” is good enough? Remember, this is the guy who told Sean Payton that ignorance is no excuse.

    Ultimately though, there is only once force that can dislodge Goodell from his 44 million a year gig, and that’s the sponsors. I hope they act soon and in great numbers.

  14. Goodell: I made a mistake and I’m sorry, which should be good enough but was not good enough for Sean Payton.

    Translation: I’ll do what I want.

  15. Roger Goodell: an assertively soft-spoken stuffed shirt given to the matter-of-fact perpetuation of half-truths and outright lies. A soulless, maddeningly overpaid PR puppet out to neuter football while pandering to masses of casual fans with the deepest pockets. Be gone, you loathsome beast!

  16. This is the caliber of executive you get for 43 million dollars a year? This is just so laughable, pitiful, pathetic, and lame, all at the same time. I have zero respect for the league, and less for the greedy owners, including my own. Nothing will happen until fans start boycotting the games, and stop buying all the merchandise. Hitting them in the wallet is the only thing they will understand. Then, and only then, will they take notice. So it looks like it’s going to be business as usual.

  17. Goodell makes me want to vomit. Watching him stand up there and lie over and over about the way the NFL handled this is disgusting.

    Goodell must go.

  18. I just wonder what the owners whom are high powered and wealthy can possibly see the benefit of having Goodell stay as the face of the NFL. THE FACE!!!! OF THE NFL! Makes no sense.

  19. restorativejusticeprogram says:
    Sep 19, 2014 5:32 PM
    Guy is as grimey as Harry Reid. No wonder they are long-time family friends.
    Really? If ever there was a GOP corporate model, it’s the NFL.Even you should know that. From the draconian punishments to the TAX FREE STATUS to the use of public funds for CORPORATE WELFARE.

    If that ain’t GOP, I don’t know what is.

  20. Goodell has been sleazy and corrupt for a long time now starting with when he destroyed the Patriot cheating evidence the nanosecond he got it in secret, behind closed doors and with zero transparency.

    He then lied to our faces about why he did it not even bothering to make it halfway credible or believable as he held us in such contempt and low regard.


  21. Goodell will never learn that when in a hole, you need to stop digging. In his mind he’s fixing things but in reality he just keeps bringing more attention to how badly he’s bungled everything.

    They won’t want the bad press of firing him outright for this debacle, but in a year or two Rog will suddenly announce he has “new opportunities to explore” or “needs to spend more time with his family.” It’ll turn out that by sheer good fortune somebody the owners really want just happens to be available immediately.

  22. Still trying to understand what exactly Goodell did that justifies he lose his job.

    Was he the one in the elevator punching his fiancee’? Was he the one accused of DUI? Was he the one caught in the Saints Bountygate? Was he the one arrested for murder?

    Hmm.. Oh yeah, he didn’t suspend Rice long enough thats it. Wait, he suspended him indefinitely after admitting he made a mistake.

    Gotcha. Wow.

  23. All the majority of fans care about is watching our favorite team with our favorite players on the field. The NFL needs to worry about football and not worry about enforcing the law! No matter how many policies they change, nothing will change. They will still have off the field issues.

  24. Ugh. I would have loved to have asked “you single handedly assigned punishment for every offense and even spoke with Ray Rice alone in a room, but now every other word is WE. How does it become we after it has been I for your entire tenure?” He is such a liar!

  25. Goodell looked straight into the eyes of those in his presence (and on camera) — and said in multiple ways, “I accept full responsibility.”

    And then, he proceeded to make excuses, few of them that have even the slightest hint of plausible deniability. On top of that, for a man claiming to be so accountable, there were no truly meaningful consequences that came down his way — aside from the heat of public opinion, media opinion, sponsorship opinion and player opinion (in other words, everyone BUT his employers).

  26. uncletuna says:
    Sep 19, 2014 7:57 PM
    How about the same accountability he applied to Belichick and Payton?!?

    Accountability for what? Did Goodell break the rules like those two did?


    For not suspending Rice for a longer period of time? Last I looked he was suspended indefinitely.

    So I repeat. Consequences for what? What did Goodell do that says he be fired…..

    If you don’t like him, fine, I have no issues there. But to try and say he did something wrong in this whole media disaster is a joke. He runs a company called the NFL. When several of his employees got in trouble, he took action. He is not the law.

    Now, if we want to talk about why Rice has not been punished more by the legal system – I’m game to have that discussion.

  28. The funny thing is that the individuals who broke whatever local, state or federal law have not been held accountable. Yet, we hold the employer so. He didn’t violate any man made laws, just the personal opinions of the pitchfork and torch crowd. Why is he apologizing for the failure of DAs, prosecutors and judges? Because he’s an easier target. You didn’t vote for him nor did your representative nominate him for a post. Go after the civil servants, not the employer.

  29. There is no sham here. In truth, they aren’t really obligated to act until there is an actual conviction.

    We do live in a society of law. Goodell’s only crime here is trying to appease too many contradictory interests.

    No one should lose their job, ability to make a living or their freedom until due process is served.

    And it doesn’t matter what those whose who aren’t involved believe or feel. Period.

  30. And again the media wants everyone to hate Goodell. Why, well probably it will keep their story line going a lot longer; it proves that the media in America guides the American people. Look I may not like the man but he has bosses too and I don’t hear anyone talking about them. Thirty-two bosses or more that he had to talk with, get things lined out with, etc. Boy you just have to have someone to blame, have to. Well RG did not hit a woman in the face, did not whip a child with a tree branch and as far as I can see he is not connected with ISIS. So why don’t we take a step back and see what happens. In the world today when instant gratification cannot be achieved, the crap begins to be thrown. Too bad he kept the journalists, fans, sponsors waiting so long for this story, that is really a non-story.

  31. Still waiting for an answer from the commissioner regarding the double standard when it comes to Sean Payton and the “ignorance is no excuse” line. What a NON answer and a tap dance when the question was asked. The other reporters shouldn’t have let him off the hook.

  32. The commissioner’s office working with the NFLPA to develop a player conduct policy framework within the collective bargaining agreement is the only logical way to go, and that process should have started months ago. That is the only way to avoid having to react indivually to every case, to avoid the pundits trying to dictate NFL policy by seeing who can shout the loudest on radio and TV, and to avoid potential lawsuits by the players who might think they are being treated unfairly. Those who trade in manufacturing outrage might not like the stated goal of having the new policy in place by the time of the Super Bowl, but developing a workable and reasonably comprehensive policy will not be an overnight process.

  33. Still trying to understand what exactly Goodell did that justifies he lose his job.

    Was he the one in the elevator punching his fiancee’? Was he the one accused of DUI? Was he the one caught in the Saints Bountygate? Was he the one arrested for murder?

    Hmm.. Oh yeah, he didn’t suspend Rice long enough thats it. Wait, he suspended him indefinitely after admitting he made a mistake.

    Gotcha. Wow.


    Dude, careful. You’re harshing everybody’s self-righteous, group-think buzz.

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