Roger Goodell on Tuesday gave his first interview concerning the league’s handling of the Ray Rice penalty since TMZ dropped video on the world of the former Ravens running back knocking out his now-wife Janay Rice inside an elevator in an Atlantic City hotel.
Before we get into all the lies Goodell likely told during the interview, I have a few thoughts. First, I have few doubts that the NFL told CBS to have a woman interview the commissioner for PR purposes. For the league, it is imperative to give the impression that they care about women at a time when it appears they don’t take domestic violence seriously enough. That’s probably why CBS morning show host Norah O’Donnell drew the interview assignment. Secondly, I think the NFL chose to give CBS the interview as a thank you for spending $275 million to air seven Thursday Night Football games this season. They have four TV partners — why pick CBS? That’s my guess.
OK, now let’s dissect this thing question by question. Transcription via CBS News.
O’Donnell: When did you first learn about this second tape?
Goodell: Yesterday morning. I got into the office and our staff had come in and said, “There’s new evidence, there’s a video that you need to see.” And we watched it then.
LBS: Bullshoes. Goodell is commissioner of the NFL and doesn’t have a smartphone? Nobody sent him an email link and said, “uhh, Rog, you might want to take a look at this” before he got to the office? Please. And you’re really expecting me to believe someone said to him so formally, “There’s new evidence”? Not buying it.
O’Donnell: Did you know that a second tape existed?
Goodell: Well, we had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the elevator. We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. But we were never granted that opportunity.
LBS: Bullshoes. They assumed there was a video? They knew good and well it existed. And look at how passive of an excuse he offered: we were never “granted” an opportunity to see the video. You’re the freaking NFL. If Roger Goodell wants freshly-squeezed orange juice made from real navel oranges from Chile, they’ll fly some lackeys down to South America, pluck those goods straight from the tree and have em on Rog’s desk by 6:00 a.m., pronto. Don’t give me that “never granted” the opportunity nonsense.
O’Donnell: So did anyone in the NFL see this second videotape before Monday?
O’Donnell: No one in the NFL?
Goodell: No one in the NFL to my knowledge, and I asked that same question. The answer to that is “no.”
LBS: Multiple reporters have said the NFL saw the video. Even TMZ, citing a casino worker, originally reported that some people from the NFL had seen the video. I suppose the “to my knowledge” part covers Goodell in that regard, but the anger of Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen makes it seem clear that the league is lying.
O’Donnell: How is it that the NFL didn’t get their hands on the second tape but a website called TMZ could?
Goodell: Well, I don’t know how TMZ or any other website gets their information. We are particularly reliant on law enforcement. That’s the most reliable. It’s the most credible. And we don’t seek to get that information from sources that are not credible.
LBS: LOL. The NFL would use a homeless bum ODing on a combination of crack and bath salts as a source if it helped further their cause. Heck, the Browns owner practically admitted he did.
O’Donnell: The question becomes did the NFL drop the ball? Or was the NFL willfully ignorant about what was on this tape?
Goodell: Well, we certainly didn’t know what was on the tape. But we have been very open and honest. And I have also — from two weeks ago when I acknowledged it, we didn’t get this right. That’s my responsibility. And I’m accountable for that.
LBS: It’s hard to believe that months ago, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen knew what was on the tape but the NFL didn’t. And if you believe that they didn’t, it just shows how misguided Goodell was to rely on an interview with Janay Palmer — with her abuser Ray Rice in the same room — as the reason for going lenient on him.
O’Donnell: But what changed? I mean, on the first tape she was lying unconscious on the ground, being dragged out. Did you really need to see a videotape of Ray Rice punching her in the face to make this decision?
Goodell: No. We certainly didn’t and that — and I will tell you that what we saw on the first videotape was troubling to us in and of itself. But what we saw yesterday was extremely clear, it was extremely graphic and it was sickening. And that’s why we took the action yesterday.
LBS: What changed is that the PUBLIC saw the video. The public was outraged over it and that’s why the NFL felt they had to act.
O’Donnell: What does that mean that he was suspended indefinitely? Does that mean Ray Rice will never play in the NFL again?
Goodell: I don’t rule that out. But he would have to make sure that we are fully confident that he is addressing this issue clearly, (that) he has paid the price for the actions that he’s already taken.
LBS: Finally, Goodell gives us a piece of honesty and truth. We all know Rice will be back eventually. Heck, Richie Incognito was the most hated football player in America last year, and last month the Bucs talked to him because they were desperate for help on their o-line. Just wait til this blows over and a team needs RB help. Rice will be back eventually.