Goodell Has Fomented
His Own Demise
Despite The Ray Rice And Adrian Peterson Scandals, By Penalizing Marijuana Smokers More Than Violent Tendencies, The Crumbling Reign Of Roger Goodell As Commissioner Of The National Football League Is Clearly A Result Of His Own Policies
By Wayne Schutsky
Modern Times Magazine
Sept. 16, 2014 —NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s time in the league could be coming to an end, and his legacy isn’t going to be very flattering. Since beginning his tenure, he has built an image as the commissioner who was going to clean up the game.
But as his reign spirals out of control, Goodell has failed to live up to his promises because he’s focused his efforts in all of the wrong places.
The NFL has commissioned former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III to look into the Ray Rice incident and determine what NFL execs knew and when they knew it. If Mueller finds out that Goodell and his staff had knowledge of the full tape showing Rice brutalizing his fiancee — and the publically available evidence is pointing that way — Goodell is going to have a hard time keeping his job.
While it may seem like a conflict of interest to have Mueller looking into Goodell, because Goodell runs the league that hired him, the NFL is really run by the owners. So, in the end, Mueller works for them. The commissioner is more of a steward, hired to make sure the league makes as much money as possible. And, if the commissioner puts that money making at risk — which is the case if Goodell feigned ignorance and lied to fans and the league — the owners will boot him in a heartbeat.
And they should. After a tumultuous 2007 that saw many players run into off the field trouble, Goodell made it his mission to “protect the shield” and clean up player conduct. A main facet of his plan involved sternly punishing players for drug violations. This policy has been a complete disaster, with many major players missing significant time for smoking marijuana, a drug that is actually legal in two states.
While smoking marijuana is still illegal in most states, Goodell’s NFL should have realized marijuana was the least of the league’s problems. There have been 31 players suspended this year alone for substance abuse issues. Most of those suspensions were for at least four games. On the other hand, Ray Rice originally received only two games for punching his girlfriend.
Maybe Goodell is smoking something?
To make matters worse, 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald and Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy haven’t received any form of penalty — indefinite or otherwise — after being charged with domestic abuse. The NFL has hidden behind the guise of due process, letting these players first face their days in court. But, that’s completely hypocritical. The NFL has no problem punishing those that test positive on a drug test, which hurts no other human being, even when that drug use doesn’t result in an arrest.
And now, we’ve got the Adrian Peterson case. He’s currently being accused of “disciplining” two of his four-year-old children so severely that they required medical attention. Has the NFL stepped in and said anything on the subject?
No. Once again, they hide behind the ‘shield’ of due process.
And the problem is, due process doesn’t really mean shit in this country if you’re famous and/or make a large sum of money. That’s why Rice barely received a slap on the wrist from prosecutors after he punched-out his fiancee.
Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez literally had to sloppily murder multiple people over several years (allegedly) in order to be treated like anyone else by the justice system.
And, as an aside to this discussion, that’s what we all, as human beings, should really be pissed about. Why is it that a man can viciously and violently assault a woman on camera and ostensibly get away with it just because he is famous? That is awful and not right.
Yes, Roger Goodell should be fired. Yes, the NFL is fucked up. But, what really needs to change is a legal system that treats people unequally based on socioeconomic class.
But, back to the discussion at hand.
The NFL should deactivate these players with pay until the cases are solved. If it turns out that they are convicted, then give them an appropriate suspension and dock pay going forward.
But, that’s not going to happen, at least not any time soon. The Goodell NFL is too worried about headlines that make it look like its cleaning up the league than actually doing anything of substance. That’s why it has chosen to so aggressively pursue drug use, a minor legal offense that doesn’t really tarnish the league’s image but does make Goodell look tough on hoodlums.
But, when it comes to serious offenses that offend human dignity, he sweeps the problem under the rug to avoid giving a black eye to the league.
The ironic thing is, that action is the real black eye. Goodell’s inaction on subjects that matter is the real detrimental blow to the league. Now, it appears like nothing more than a business that will go to no ends to try and preserve profit over helping people.
Wayne Schutsky is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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