As a PR professional, it is hard not to comment on the ramifications of the Ray Rice tragedy, but this goes way beyond PR; this is about doing the right thing — and clearly, Roger Goodell has failed miserably.
His original two game penalty is shameful. His subsequent revision relating to domestic violence is a step in the right direction; but he did this only after pressure from the outside, which is unfortunate — he should have done this in the first place.
Goodell’s appearance on CBS News last night only made matters worse (not sure what PR advice he is receiving, but clearly his handlers are not doing him any favors). Did he really need to see the video to make the right call? And he and his billion dollar corporation couldn’t figure out how to secure a copy of the video when TMS could? (At least the owner of the Baltimore Ravens acknowledged their error in not pressing further in their investigation to press for the video.)
Goodell is a disgrace, as is the NFL. Whether it is domestic violence, drugs or other sordid affairs, the NFL mantra which we have heard about so much about during the past few days, “Protect the Shield” seems to be the prevailing rule, at all costs.
What about the example that athletes are supposed to set for kids today? How do we explain this? It is hard enough to fathom Ray Rice’s behavior, but the behavior of those in charge is equally disturbing. It is time for him to go.
“Show Me the Money”, to borrow a phrase from the infamous “Jerry Maguire” never rang so true.