Goodell: We need to balance due process with protecting the game

Getty Images

In the wake of his disastrous response to the Ray Rice domestic violence case, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is grappling with revamping its personal conduct policy.

Goodell noted that players who are accused of crimes are entitled to due process in a court of law, but he said the NFL’s owners want the ability to take players accused of crimes (like Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy) off the field while a criminal case is ongoing.

“They obviously understand the balance between due process and protecting the integrity of the game, and sometimes that puts you in a difficult position,” Goodell said. “When there is strong evidence to the fact that a violation occurred, the question is whether there should be some type of interim step, like a paid leave.”

Goodell acknowledged his own mistakes in the Rice case and said that he’s open to changes in the personal-conduct policy, including potentially giving up his current status as the judge and one-man jury in personal-conduct cases.

“Everything’s on the table,” Goodell said. “It’s my job to admit mistakes but more importantly it’s my job to go and figure out how we’re not going to have those mistakes occur again.”

To prevent those mistakes from happening again, Goodell may need to allow someone else to have final say on personal conduct matters.

53 responses to “Goodell: We need to balance due process with protecting the game

  1. Roger Goodell has never displayed any regard for due process through his tenure as commissioner, as evidenced by the New Orleans Saints bounty case, his needless and dishonest suspensions of Terrell Pryor and Jim Tressell, etc.

  2. Goodell should give up the initial discipline and only get involved with appeals. In that way he will have final say.

  3. All does is say we are having meetings and constant discussions. Blah blah blah.

    What the heck is so difficult to figure out.

    You do this u get this many games

    You do that u get this many

    We are either gonna let law enforcement deal with it or you are?

    How many meetings do u habe to have?

  4. I’ll be the first. I was one that said he was way 0verpaid for his job. There’s no damn reason he should have been making that kind of cash. Hand over fist. Now after watching this last escapade, you couldn’t pay me enough.

    I don’t even posses the best morals in the world, sadly.

  5. Except if you’re Adrian Peterson on PFT. On PFT, due process doesn’t matter, you’re guilty no matter what happens in the court of law. “His playing days in Minnesota are over…”

  6. What he means is “We need to balance Due Process with covering things up in order protect the players that are the face of our brand… to protect the shield.”

  7. Goodell has no credibility.

    Keep telling us its a privilege, not a right, to play in the NFL, when you’re cutting scrubs and special teamers. Yet theres a different standard for stars and starters.

    He’s merely a shield for billionaire business owners that can hire and fire at the drop of a hat, when running their companies.

  8. So is it considered a mistake to continually favor the Ravens. Latest one (not including Rice) is the fact that they have not played an away Thursday night game since 2010.

  9. I think he is right. Wait until ladies start dropping accusations against players just prior to playoffs, etc. If you don’t mind suspending without due process, then suspend away. Some might not care until it is their team affected.

  10. For Goodell “protecting the game” meant convincing ignorant fans that signal stealing hasn’t been happening since George Halas and Lamar Hunt pioneered NFL spying… and that it doesn’t continue (as condoned by his own rules) even today

    Only the truth protects the game but Goodell is about perception over reality

    And he’s correct – jealous fans will ignore coordinators covering their mouths when calling in plays to convince themselves that signal filming hasn’t always taken place

  11. Goodell made some mistakes, no doubt…
    But the fact of the matter is he is being asked to be the judge and jury of these players that have college degrees, but are too dumb to know how to conduct themselves….
    If the players could be better citizens, he wouldn’t be under this kind of scrutiny….
    put the blame where it belongs, not on the person trying to make the game better.

  12. …..and balance making a truckload of cash from Thursday night and London games versus “protecting the game”.

  13. I’m guessing he spends 90% of his time figuring out how to handle people who have committed crimes. I’ll bet that’s not what he thought he would be doing when he took the job. Sad state of affairs.

  14. cmich2006 says:
    Oct 8, 2014 6:58 PM
    So is it considered a mistake to continually favor the Ravens. Latest one (not including Rice) is the fact that they have not played an away Thursday night game since 2010.


    Week 1, 2013 season, defending SB champ Baltimore traveled to Denver.

    Just sayin’…

  15. Protect the game itself, ban the players who screw it up for everyone.

    Ostracize every player who gets out of line, then we’ll see who really wants and values the salaries that NFL players get.

    Make examples of AP, Rice, hardy, Dwyer, etc. They all have taken their opportunity for granted.

  16. It’s too bad it had to come to something like this before Roger was willing to relinquish his control over discipline. It will be good for the league to have a non-advocate ruling on these things.

  17. How about Goodell putting gambling interests ahead of player safety?

    In order to have an accurate Las Vegas Line, Goodell will penalize any coach who doesn’t reveal which players are hurt and where.

    One of these days a player will be injured for life as they become targets – but thankfully mob bookies won’t lose money thanks to Goodell

    Goodell must resign – for the integrity of the game

    Sponsors – we’re listening. And all we hear is silence.

    We can and will vote with our wallets.

  18. The players can have all of the due process they deserve. They simply need to do it on their own dime. If they would release players upon accusations they wouldn’t have to grapple with anything, and at the same time protect the shield. They’re making this much more difficult than it has to be. But they’re scared to release players.

  19. Notice how when Goodell was swaggering around suspending players as he pleased with rules he made up as he went along it was all “I’m cleaning up the NFL,” “I’m the appeal court,” “I decide what’s breaking the Code of Conduct all by myself. Now that he’s finally been knocked off his ego trip of unlimited power, it’s all “We need to do this,” “We made mistakes,” “We’re looking into it.” For all his jibber jabbar about admitting his mistake, he’s sure free with the ‘we.’

    Real men own their mistakes Goodell. Don’t leave a big slime trail behind as you crawl out the building. Don’t think your sugar daddy Kraft will keep backing you. He’ll throw out any player if he can make so much as a dime off it. You better believe he’ll throw you out like garbage at a moments notice.

  20. Basically we need to protect our Millionaire players who make our Billionaire owners Millions, who pay me Millions to protect their Billion dollar company.

  21. I have to wonder why the teams aren’t being held more responsible for this mess. After all, they are the ones who hired the woman beaters. They should be penalized just the same.

  22. Is he really worried about individual state laws? There goes the drug testing policies!

  23. Roger is the biggest moron in the NFL. His decisions have ruined the NFL. Should call it sissy ball now instead of football. He should be policing his refs and leave the game alone. All these rule changes are aimed at making it tough on defenses. Defenses are afraid to touch the QB because 5 out of 10 sacks become roughing the passer. CBs are afraid to go for an interception because it will be called pass interference.

  24. It took him this long to realize that making it up as he goes along is not policy, it’s arrogance.

    The whole Ray Rice situation would have been avoided if there was a negotiated policy with the union. Rice probably would have gotten 4 games and it would be over unless he had another incident.

    The weak penalty from Goodell sparked outrage that now has actually gone too far in punishment for a first time offender.

  25. Shut up Roger, how about doing something useful and crack the whip with the refs? The calls this year have been terrible. I think you are trying to emphasize to many rules at the same time causing them to almost try to predict penalties with partial or no view by the ref throwing the flag. Every year there’s more rules being emphasized and others being carried over from the previous years, it’s too much.

  26. LMAO

    Looks like political correctness showed Roger Goodell who the boss is.

    I’m betting Dan Snyder will be next.

  27. What Mr. Goodell doesn’t mention when he weighs due process versus the integrity of the league, is how hard his thumb is pressing on the scale on the side of the owners’ wallets. His credibility is gone.

    3 words: Buh bye, Roger.

  28. The NFL is not a government agency, and thusly need not adhere to “Due Process” which is a legal term. Its a privilege to play in the NFL. And the NFL has the right to suspend or release any player deemed to be a non-hacker, and that should include criminals. As a retired Police officer with 28 yrs on the streets, if I was arrested for domestic violence, I would have been fired from my job and my certification pulled by the State of Florida, all with out “due process”.

  29. I love the NFL but I hate the greed they have. I hate Goodell cause of 18 game season, London team, expansion. Leave it the way it is. your making BILLIONS.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.