Report: Goodell soon expressed misgivings about Rice’s two-game ban


Among the many revelations in ESPN’s investigation of the decisions made by the NFL and Baltimore Ravens after Ray Rice’s arrest in February was that league commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly soon had second thoughts about handing down just a two-game suspension of Rice.

The ESPN report claims that “within days” of Rice’s initial ban on July 24, Goodell told someone close to him that “he wasn’t sure he had done the right thing,” wrote reporters Don Van Natta Jr. and Kevin Van Valkenburg, citing two unnamed sources. The report also said Goodell seemed to indicate he had been persuaded not to give Rice a harsher punishment — and that the commissioner “regretted” this, wrote Van Natta Jr. and Van Valkenburg.

Goodell would later change course on Rice, publicly saying in late August he erred in handing down the two-game suspension when unveiling a new domestic violence policy. And less than two weeks later, Rice was indefinitely suspended by the NFL.

But Rice’s longer suspension came only after video emerged of him hitting his now-wife in Atlantic City in February. The video, released by TMZ, was posted three days before the tailback was to sit out the last of those two games he was banned.

Only then, after the video went viral, did the league change course. By then, though, the outrage with the NFL and the Ravens had come to a boil. And the simmering really started when the league announced it was benching Rice for all of 120 minutes of regulation to begin the season.

25 responses to “Report: Goodell soon expressed misgivings about Rice’s two-game ban

  1. He should be held to the same standard he judge Sean Payton when he emphasized to Coach Payton that he was responsible for what happened in his own organization whether he was aware or naught…

  2. I think Goodel was doing the Ravens owner a friendly favor and was Ravened……as in lied to…you know what that franchise specializes in. Suggs. J Lewis. R Lewis and now Ray Rice. Goodel needs to go and the Aravens fined three first round picks for starters. Ok apologist it’s time for your Maytag spin cycle.

  3. Off topic, but I’m really confused. OTL says Harbaugh wanted to cut RIce, but I JUST notification from Bleacher Report saying that the Ravens deny that Harbaugh wanted to cut Rice… Whose telling the dang truth? Does anyone know any information about this? As a Ravens fan, I want to know the truth since this debacle is still going on…

  4. Who persuaded Goodell to only a give a two game ban? Was it an owner who had Rice on his Fantasy Football team?

  5. Roger Goodell < Sean Payton in integrity…

    Mr. Commissioner, there's a cancer growing on the league…

    It's not DV, it's the coverup by Ravens front office and League Officials

  6. Not surprised, he is human and got caught up with Rice’s wife pleas for leniency. This whole debacle is a prefect example why the NFL shouldn’t be the business of personnel conduct.

  7. All he needs to say is they told him privately it was one punch. The video shows 2 and the railing hit.

  8. I could forgive Goodell one bad decision, but this is a pattern:

    * Pacman Jones had three years of multiple arrests and guilty pleas before his first NFL suspension. Ray Rice was arrested and seen dragging his unconscious wife from an elevator but received only a two-game suspension. Roethlisberger has never been arrested and Goodell acknowledged the league had found nothing to contradict the police investigation but still suspended him six games.

    * In response to public outcry over big hits and lawsuits for concussions, Goodell began fining players for big hits before changing the rules. Then rules were changed before any studies were done to determine whether the changes would decrease the incidence and severity of concussions. His only concern was to make it appear he was responding to the problem rather than making the game safer.

    * Goodell keeps pushing for a European franchise even though it’s unpopular with U.S. fans and the World League of American Football went bust at tremendous cost to the league.

    The guy has too much power and a history of poor decisionmaking on football matters. But he’s a good marketer.

  9. If this is in any way true, I almost feel for the guy.

    However, more much likely it’s a well timed “leak” that makes him seem more human and less arrogant. Has anyone ever seen Goodell “unsure” of anything or have “misgivings” about any of his decisions? I

    I hate to play the conspiracy card here, but this one is just too well timed. His back is against the wall in the public eye and he knows it.

  10. I’m sure he did. The public let him know how they felt about it as soon as the suspension came down. Without the public outcry he wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

  11. This is a guy who penalizes teams by taking away first round picks just to foster the PERCEPTION that signal stealing is illegal in the NFL (when in fact the rules specifically allow for it and specify where signals can be filmed from – prompting all coordinators to cover their mouths when calling in plays)

    Yet when it comes to attempted murder of women and child abuse he suddenly has a soft spot in his heart for the perpetrators, goes easy on them and then wants us to believe feels bad about it after

    There’s no weaseling out of this one.

    Roger didn’t want to draw attention to these crimes so he downplayed it. He DID want to draw attention to other minor rule violations so he went overboard

    And that’s why the NFL owners and sponsors must #FireGoodell

  12. Yes I wonder what Sean Payton thinks of this…

    Roger Goodell has too much power and burned himself for it. I think he should be out for attacking the integrety of the game with his stupid rules, but thats the cherry one the top of the cake.

  13. I doubt that Goodell reads PFT but once the two-game suspension was announced it and Roger himself were a running joke on here, even with most Ravens’ fans. Hold on for 10 more days Roger and then you can wear your pink tie and tell us how much the NFL loves women. I’m just hoping someone doesn’t put your picture on Wikipedia under the term hypocrite.

  14. He is a slimy scumbag who is finding ways to make rich greedy people richer and that is the only reason he still has a job. The man has ruined the game of football and has been extremely inconsistent in his decision making. It was not necessary before with commissioners of the past to suggest one person has too much power but one moron can chaange that and the result will be pay more crooks I mean lawyers and thus charge even more outrageous prices to the fans for a watered down version of the game they love so much.

  15. So I would just like to ask everyone going after the NFL’s mismanagement on this, are you fans of Michael Jackson who sexually molested young boys? Do you change the channel or turn the volume up in the car and sing along to him?

    What do your actions regarding Michael Jackson and your refusal to boycott everything about him say about you? What conclusions can one draw about you, you sick individuals?

  16. Within days he knew he may have made a mistake? Of course it only took a few minutes after the announcement and the backlash started to realize they made a mistake……the NFL leaks to the media to make this seem better are idiotic in nature…..

  17. Goodell knew he made a mistake. But he’s made many.

    He shouldn’t have listened to the morally bankrupt Ravens organization when they lobbied him to go soft on Ray Rice.

    Too many big mistakes by Goodell = this nightmare for the NFL that isn’t going away anytime soon.

    The clock is ticking and the owners are hearing the ticking getting louder and LOUDER. Eventually they will tell their boy Roger he’s got to resign.

    And they’ll pay him another huge pile of money to fall on his sword. The End.

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