Goodell says it’s not his decision whether he’ll testify in Rice appeal

AP

One of the questions we suggested for Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference focused on whether he’ll testify at the Ray Rice appeal hearing.

Goodell was asked that question.  And his answer didn’t really answer it.

I don’t think that’s my decision,” Goodell said, via the Associated Press.  “I think Judge Jones is the one who ultimately is going to make the rules and determinations.  I’ve been in meetings all day.  That isn’t something that I’ve addressed.”

At a time when the NFL should be hoping to be as transparent as possible when it comes to the various off-field issues it confronts, that may not be the best position to take.

Indeed, Goodell’s answer suggests that the NFL’s lawyers will try to shield him from testifying under oath, which the lawyers representing a large business almost always do when the boss is asked to submit to authority other than his own.  By saying that Judge Jones will make the decision, Goodell implies that there will be a dispute that she must resolve regarding whether he should testify.

There shouldn’t be.  The question before Judge Jones will be whether the NFL knew or should have known what Rice did to his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City elevator on February 15.  Goodell’s public comments and his letter to Rice suspending him indefinitely express a belief that Rice painted a picture far different in meetings with the team and the league than the video released 30 days ago did.  Goodell, who ultimately processed the information and determined that Rice’s story wasn’t consistent with the visual evidence, isn’t simply an essential witness — he and Rice will be the key witnesses in determining what Rice said and what the NFL otherwise knew or should have known.

Ultimately, it would be shocking if Judge Jones doesn’t compel Goodell to testify.  And it would be a much better look for Goodell and the league if Goodell simply said, “I’ll be there.  And I’ll bring the Bible.”

13 responses to “Goodell says it’s not his decision whether he’ll testify in Rice appeal

  1. “By saying that Judge Jones will make the decision, Goodell implies that there will be a dispute that she must resolve regarding whether he should testify.”

    No, by saying that he means that judge is the ultimate authority on if he will be called to testify. Why are you looking for a conflict when there is none?

  2. Goodell wanted absolute power on discipline. He got what he asked for, and now he is the only NFL executive who can answer questions pertaining to dispensed discipline.

    Goodell painted himself in this corner.

    Have fun squirming your way out of this one.

  3. …And then a bunch of games were played on Sunday and the distracted peons talked smack about other people’s teams and Roger Goodell quietly gave everyone the finger while the owners rolled around in piles of money.

    And the world turned…

  4. Goodell can’t get ANYTHING right!! Even his cover up. The guy is a world class buffoon and his “yes men” are even dumber than he is.

  5. The general public wants answers from Goodell. I simply want to see justice served on Goodell the same way it was administered to the Saints in 2012. If this commissioner is caught in a lie, he goes to jail for perjury. And while he sits in a jail cell, the NFL should reopen the bountygate nonsense that Goodell fabricated and spun into masisve lies to win public approval over the concussion issues facing the league. The NFL claims it wants transparency, then lets clear all the air and to reopen the bountygate matter would be the best first move it could possibly make.

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