NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference did not allay all the concerns that fans and the general public have about the league’s handling of domestic violence. But the press conference did feature some strange situations.
For starters, a reporter from TMZ, which broke this whole issue open by publishing the now-infamous video of Ray Rice punching his wife in an elevator, asked Goodell why the NFL couldn’t find that video. Goodell didn’t have much of an answer. This was their exchange:
TMZ: “You suspended Ray Rice after our video. Why didn’t you have the curiosity to go to the casino yourself?”
Goodell: “Well, two things. We suspended Ray Rice originally after seeing the original video that was disclosed in February. When the second video came out last week, that’s when we increased our discipline because that was inconsistent with the information we had. It was new information. One of the things that I said in my statement, and I said repeatedly here, is that is part of what we want to do with all of our experts, outside, internal, is try to figure out, How should we investigate these issues? In the past, we have been almost completely reliant on working with law enforcement and cooperating with them. We do not want to interfere with an investigation. And particularly here when you’re dealing with a casino in New Jersey there are even more restrictions because it’s overseen, I believe, by the attorney general. So we have to be very cautious not to interfere with an investigation, but we’ll evaluate that. Should we do more to get that information? I would have loved to see that tape. Should we do more to get that information in the future? That’s a question I want these experts to do.”
TMZ: “Mr. Commissioner, we found out by one phone call. You guys have a whole legal department. Can you explain that? We found out by just one phone call.”
Goodell: “I can’t explain how you got the information.”
An even odder spectacle was the sound of a man screaming from off camera while Goodell was at the podium. TV viewers had no idea what was happening but could hear the man yell, “What are you doing? Don’t take me to an elevator! Please, don’t take me to an elevator!”
That man was later revealed to be Benjy Bronk of The Howard Stern Show. That portion of the press conference is below: