Roger Goodell is under growing pressure to resign due to his mishandling of the Ray Rice suspension, though at least for the moment, the NFL commissioner will remain in his job.
Goodell was already under criticism for issuing only a two-game ban on Rice after he was caught on video dragging his unconscious fiance from an elevator in an Atlantic City casino. Goodell would later go on to admit his mistake in a letter to NFL owners, and as a result, instituted strict new punishments for domestic abuse.
But Roger Goodell is under even greater pressure after the release this week of video from inside the elevator, showing Ray Rice knocking out his fiancee with a punch to the face. There were reports that the NFL had access to the video, but chose not to watch it.
Now, a number of groups are calling for Roger Goodell to resign, including the National Organization for Women. The group said Goodell’s resignation is the only appropriate remedy for the situation.
“The NFL has lost its way. It doesn’t have a Ray Rice problem; it has a violence against women problem,” said Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women. “… The only workable solution is for Roger Goodell to resign and for his successor to appoint an independent investigator with full authority to gather factual data about domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking within the NFL community and to recommend real and lasting reforms.”
The organization pointed out a number of other players accused or convicted of domestic abuse that the NFL let off lightly.
“The NFL sets the example for college, high school, middle school and even elementary school football programs,” O’Neill said. “And the example it is setting right now is simply unacceptable. New leadership must come in with a specific charge to transform the culture of violence against women that pervades the NFL. That’s the only way to restore honor and integrity to the country’s most lucrative and popular pastime.”
Commentator Keith Olbermann has also called for punishment for all those involved, including not only Goodell, but also the Atlantic County, New Jersey District Attorney’s Office and the Baltimore Ravens.
“Each body, each leading individual involved came to a judicial conclusion about what happened to Janay Palmer and what should happen to Ray Rice. And each, through deception or incompetence, misled the public, damaged the efforts of every man and every woman in this country seeking to merely slow down the murderous epidemic of domestic violence, and made a mockery of the process by which those who batter those they claim to love are to be brought to justice.
But to date, the requests have fallen on deaf ears as Roger Goodell remains in his position as NFL commissioner.