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Opinion/Editorial: Roger Goodell Needs To Protect The NFL Shield And Resign Immediately

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With the Associated Press reporting Wednesday that a law enforcement official sent the video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée—now wife—Janay to the NFL office in April, Roger Goodell needs to do the right thing and resign.

Currently embroiled in a proverbial perfect storm of hypocrisy, lies and turning a blind eye in enabling domestic violence, Goodell is stuck between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to go, but out.

After openly denying that he never saw the TMZ video of Rice punching his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino in February, TMZ—of all media outlets—was able to do what larger and more powerful entities, were unable to do, catch Goodell in a red-handed, double standard lie, with the hypocrisy clear to see.

For months, Goodell told the public that he never saw the tape, thus suspended Rice for only two games, it wasn’t until after the leaked video showing the fateful confrontation in Atlantic City, that TMZ would become–dare this writer say—a credible media outlet, and the NFL’s credibility obliterated in an instant.

The calls for Goodell’s ouster began in earnest after he suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon for testing positive for marijuana after being exposed to second-hard exposure, for a year, where Rice was suspended a mere two games.

Fans and non-fans alike even agreed universally that the NFL was wrong and that the league fumbled its handling of both the Rice and Gordon suspensions.

If anything, the NFL’s actions have proved to be more harmful than Rice’s punch, as that in initially giving Rice a mere slap on the wrist, it sent a bad message to sports fans—most notably female—that it’s okay for players to hit women, but if a player smokes marijuana, that they are dealt with more harsely.

It wasn’t until after harsh public outcry that Goodell instituted a new policy on domestic violence, which were too little, too late.

During his tenure, Goodell has been drunk on his Caesar-esque dictator-like power in handing down suspensions, fines and bans under the personal conduct policy. Hiding behind the phrase of “protecting the shield”, Goodell needs to put his money where his mouth is in admitting error in his ways and resigning.

Goodell needs to admit that his administration of the personal conduct policy is a joke, unfair, bias and deeply flawed, as Rice is Exhibit A of his incompetence and Gordon’s one-year ban is Exhibit B of his blatant double standard.

Domestic violence and assault are crimes, where a person should be in jail, not given a two-game suspension, clearly Goodell dropped the ball with the Rice suspension, and that will forever be remembered as his Waterloo when—not if—he decides to step down.

It’s both laughable and a real shame that a gossip site such as TMZ and a team such as the Baltimore Ravens who has had it’s own issues with players off-the-field incidents (Ray Lewis, anyone!)

If that is not enough to convince Goodell, then perhaps he will need to consult with the NFL public relations department again and try to do damage control on the recent decisions by the Ravens to offer fans a chance to exchange their Rice jerseys, EA Sports removing Rice’s likeness from the uber-popular Madden ‘15—a la Aaron Hernandez—and the nation’s largest female rights organization, NOW, demanding his resignation.

Also, with the media and social backlash over the video and handling of this public debacle, players and owners will begin to lose confidence and trust in him and when sponsors begin to start pulling their ads in protest, then—and only then—will all the NFL owners and Goodell know that his time is up.

In the case of many fans, players—and even some owners, that time couldn’t come soon enough.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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