The majority of people who are paying attention to the Ray Rice scandal will agree that the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, is a total a**hole and hypocrite. Goodell claims he didn't know about the elevator tapes involving Rice and his then fiance, which led to his initial two-game ban on Rice. But when TMZ released the footage to the public, Rice gets suspended indefinitely. There has been many news articles circulating the web that both the Baltimore Ravens and Goodell knew about the tapes since April, when Rice admitted he hit his fiance. There's reports that Rice got the two-game suspension because the Ravens' owner, Steve Bisciotti, convinced Goodell to reduce the punishment. But since the videos became public, the NFL had no choice but to take swift and hard action against Rice.
The question is whether or not the league knew about the video in April. The league is in denial. So, Goodell is either lying or ignorant, and ignorance is grounds for one whole year suspension. Where the one year suspension come from? From the outcome of the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal. Coach Sean Payton was banned for one year because he was unaware of the bounties his assistant coaches and several players were involved.
As ESPN contributor Bill Simmons and Drew Brees, the Saints' quarterback, pointed out, Goodell should be suspended for a whole year because he claimed ignorance and the bounty scandal already created a precedent on ignorance claims. ESPN suspended Simmons for three weeks for his podcast criticizing both Goodell and ESPN.
Right now, Goodell has too much power. The NFL will continue to remain messy with him in charge if there's no form of checks and balance to him. The league has launched its own investigation of the Rice case. However, the investigation is handled by WilmerHale, a law firm with close ties to the NFL instead of an independent and neutral one. As a result, the NFLPA has requested that former federal prosecutor Richard Craig Smith probe the case on behalf of the NFLPA. The union is hoping to get a neutral arbitrator to settle the case. Unfortunately, the collective bargaining agreement allows Goodell to choose the judge. Even if the judge is partial toward Goodell, his reign as commissioner is declining. His legacy is tarnished and he may have to resign to save face.
Robert Lin loves basketball and anime. Follow him on Twitter and/or Google+.