Goodell cites “public misunderstanding” of domestic violence cases

AP

What was lack of transparency in August has become an exercise in damage control in October, with a league office that wasn’t saying anything before Giants kicker Josh Brown received a one-game suspension saying plenty, now that public and media reaction has been loud and negative in the wake of the disclosure of information that the league could have/should have had before it disciplined Brown the first time.

Commissioner Roger Goodell recently attributed the bad optics not to bad decisions by the league or bad work by its investigators but, essentially, to bad brains on the part of those reacting to the circumstances.

“I understand the public’s misunderstanding of those things and how that can be difficult for them to understand how we get to those positions,” Goodell told BBC as part of the pre-Giants-Rams media push, via SNY.tv. “But those are things that we have to do. I think it’s a lot deeper and a lot more complicated than it appears but it gets a lot of focus.”

Currently getting plenty of focus is the treatment of Brown, whose case has now been re-opened given the emergence of evidence that the league previously didn’t have.

“Well you have to go and get the facts,” Goodell said. “We have asked repeatedly for those facts and the information that’s been gathered by law enforcement both orally and in writing. And we weren’t able to get access to it. So you have to make decisions on whatever information you have. We take this issue incredibly seriously. This is something we’ve been working on with policy changes, to educating our players to make sure they understand how they deal with issues with their family, give them resources to be able to deal with this.

“But when it happens we’re not going to tolerate it. So we have some new information here, we’ll evaluate that in the context of our policy and we’ll take it from there.”

The problem for the league is that it believed something happened to justify a one-game suspension of Brown, but made no meaningful effort (or really any effort at the time) to explain why the NFL had deviated from its supposed baseline of six games for one incident of domestic violence. Which makes phrases like “when it happens we’re not going to tolerate it” sound hollow and meaningless.

Important questions remain regarding how the Brown case got to this point, and we’ll have some specific answers on Sunday night’s edition of Football Night in America on NBC.

46 responses to “Goodell cites “public misunderstanding” of domestic violence cases

  1. Is anybody ever going to just ask this guy what it’s like to live without a soul? I’d really like to know. Perhaps it’s worth a shot. He always seems very please with himself.

  2. The facts are that he admitted to beating his wife over 20 times. John Mara then signed him to a two year contract, and Goodell suspended him for one game. As a Giants fan, I’ve never been more ashamed.

  3. If Roger Goodell’s life goal is being the single biggest reason people lose interest in the NFL, he’s done a great job as commissioner.

  4. I’d love to see Rog get some firsthand experience on being on the receiving end of DV. In the interests of gaining a “deeper understanding” and all that..

  5. The one thing that tells you all you need to know about how the league and ownership feel about this issue is that the Giants gave him a contract extension during an ongoing investigation. Can’t spin out of that Roger.

  6. Don’t worry, the PR nightmare will be burried in week 14 when the Ravens make false accusations against the Patriots and the latest trumped up scandal will begin.

  7. Roger, you did not want to know the extent of it. You spent months and months and millions of dollars trying to figure out about air pressure in a football, but when it comes to a woman getting beaten you spent little time and sent a couple letter. After no response to your letters, you give up and say you can’t figure it out. You are a disgrace.

  8. Goodell is 100% right. They didn’t have all the facts, and there was absolutely no reason in the world for the league to try to protect Josh Brown. This is nothing but another attempt by the sore losers who are mad because Tom Brady got caught cheating, and they’re trying to discredit the league.

  9. Ugh. RG is so condescending saying the public has a hard time understanding these circumstances. He has a hard time caring more about human decency than money.

  10. Time for Roger to turn in his personal cell phone so we can see what he knew, and when. After all, he says he’s all about transparency and INTEGRITY.

  11. tonebones says:
    Oct 23, 2016 4:51 PM

    Goodell is 100% right. They didn’t have all the facts, and there was absolutely no reason in the world for the league to try to protect Josh Brown. This is nothing but another attempt by the sore losers who are mad because Tom Brady got caught cheating, and they’re trying to discredit the league.
    ————————————-
    We don’t have to discredit the league, they do that all on their own, and a fine job they do, too. Goodell thinks he can get away with calling the public stupid because people like you prove him right. Too many fans bought the NFL’s bull cookies because they wanted it to be true so they wouldn’t have to be embarrassed by their team constantly losing to the Patriots. People with intelligence and integrity read the freely available information on Framegate and came to the conclusion that the Patriots and Tom Brady were being railroaded. I wouldn’t expect you to understand that though, you’re one of the people Goodell was talking about.

  12. All the world’s problems are Goodell’s fault. No one is to blame but Roger Goodell. You have a bad day, blame Roger Goodell. Have a fight with a spouse, blame Goodell. Your kid fails a test, blame Goodell. national debt, blame Goodell. Hate football, blame Goodell.

  13. When NFL security knew about the incident at the Pro Bowl, it made everything less complicated. Brown was clearly abusive, and that should have been the starting point for a broad investigation that would not rely on Molly Brown or on the King County police.

  14. As a 63 year old woman listen up Roger Goodell…I have no trouble understanding what Josh Brown has done to his wife. Your exempt list is a joke as it does nothing but harbor abusers. What I do have trouble with understanding is how you still have your job. You should be ashamed.

  15. There is no misunderstanding! We fully realize that NFL is totally inept, and can’t seem to get anything right. Just like the Obama/Clinton regime, everything is bass-ackwards.

  16. I suppose he is right. It is hard for the public to understand that level of duplicity But in all fairness it is equally plain the league office certainly doesn’t understand the public either.

  17. limakey says:
    Oct 23, 2016 5:11 PM

    All the world’s problems are Goodell’s fault. No one is to blame but Roger Goodell. You have a bad day, blame Roger Goodell. Have a fight with a spouse, blame Goodell. Your kid fails a test, blame Goodell. national debt, blame Goodell. Hate football, blame Goodell.
    ————————————–
    Wow, somebody missed their nap. You’re gonna need a crying towel the size of a small farm at the rate you’re going. Do us a favor and stay out of North Carolina, we’ve had all the flooding we can take for a while.

  18. Or perhaps the size of Rhode Island. I forgot to ask, are you Roger or MRS Goodell? Perhaps you’re his Mother?

  19. And again, Roger Goodell fails to understand that all women (remember that 48% of women between 19-48 identify as “avid” NFL fans) have either experienced DV, or know several women who have. To claim that any woman does not “understand” the “issue” is discounting at best and unbelievable at worse.

    Perhaps Big Rog needs to invite a group of twenty women who’ve called the national domestic violence hotline to the NFL headquarters, sit around a conference table, and listen to what they have to say. Then again, that would require actually taking action after listening to their experiences, and we all know that Roger Goodell has no intention of doing so.

    Good for Molly Brown that she managed to get herself and her children out. I said at the time that the six-game DV suspension rule would be in effect until a marquee player was arrested and charged. Little did I know that a kicker is a “marquee player” in the NFL.

  20. “We take this issue incredibly seriously.” Although in this case Roger deviated from the NFL’s own policy which clearly tarnishes the shield yet again.

    #NoIntegrityLeague

  21. singletitle says:
    Oct 23, 2016 7:31 PM

    … Little did I know that a kicker is a “marquee player” in the NFL.
    ————————————-
    It’s not the position he plays that makes him a marquee player, it’s the team he plays for. Mara made a fool of himself. In 2014, when it was Ray Rice, Mara pontificated about Zero Tolerance. Now that the player is his, he seems to have forgotten what Zero Tolerance means. Maybe he needs to be checked for CTE… or Alzheimers.

  22. This is what we understand. You won a huge federal case, which states you have unlimited ability to disperse discipline.
    You chose to suspend a player for “more probably than not” deflating footballs. And you chose to suspend a player(s) for domestic violence one game.
    This is some serious #DelfateGate Karma coming back at you. Your sponsors will let you know beginning Monday if they already haven’t.

  23. What a condescending and completelyillogical conclusion Goodell draws here. If having all the facts was important and formal information requests are not fulfilled until cases are closed, why not wait till the case is closed instead of looking like an idiot by reducing a six game ban to 1? And to suspend him again likely will be another trip to court for the NFL. Talk about a misunderstanding.

  24. tonebones says:
    Oct 23, 2016 4:51 PM

    Goodell is 100% right. They didn’t have all the facts, and there was absolutely no reason in the world for the league to try to protect Josh Brown. This is nothing but another attempt by the sore losers who are mad because Tom Brady got caught cheating, and they’re trying to discredit the league.
    ###################################
    Talk about a loser troll…Goodell 100% right?
    Obviously you didn’t hear the comments by the Sheriff investigating the case involving Josh Brown…”The NFL is run by a bunch of dufus’s!”
    Pretty much says it all…!

  25. limakey says:
    Oct 23, 2016 5:11 PM

    All the world’s problems are Goodell’s fault. No one is to blame but Roger Goodell. You have a bad day, blame Roger Goodell. Have a fight with a spouse, blame Goodell. Your kid fails a test, blame Goodell. national debt, blame Goodell. Hate football, blame Goodell.
    …………………..

    It’s not Goodell’s fault that their are bad people in the NFL , obviously. But it is Goodell’s fault when he presents a dishonest front to the public about how the league handles DV after promising to “get better”. Goodell even states in his release that “you have to go and get the facts”. But instead of waiting for the authorities to close the case for the fulfillment of the information request, which is the law, the NFL goes ahead and punishes Brown using the “mitigating circumstances” clause to reduce the mandatory DV suspension from 6 games to just 1. If getting all the facts is the highest priority, why play the PR game to jump to a suspension before the facts are all out there? Now the NFL puts itself in the same tough spot it was in with Rice where they will have trouble re-punishing Brown for the same charge. Goodell’s leadership just can’t keep itself out court, it must be embarrassing for the owners. Goodell is good at making money for the league, but he is truly awful at leading investigations (concussions, bountygate, bullygate, Rice, Brady etc.). It is indisputable.

  26. Goodell – “You’re all just upset because I am tricking you!”

    Fans – “You lied about another investigation and tried to BS a punishment.”

    Goodell – “You’re just mad because I’m tricking you.”

  27. Every time Goodell opens his mouth, I keep picturing the scene from Police Squad where Leslie Nielson’s nose keeps growing and growing when he tells lies during a press conference. The only thing Goodell didn’t do was leave his mic on while going to the bathroom.

    I used to think Bettmen was out of touch as a commissioner, but Goodell has got him beat by leaps and bounds

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