During a news conference in New York on Friday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell finally spoke publicly about the recent off-field violence issues that have cropped up and apologized for his role in poor decision-making and promised to revamp the leagues personal conduct policies.
Goodell said his initial response to the domestic violence case involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was wrong and apologized. He said, “The same mistakes can never be repeated.”
The commissioner offered little in the way of specifics when discussing how he would address the domestic violence incidents in the league, but said the NFL wants to have its plan in place by the Super Bowl.
When asked whether he considered resigning, he said he has not and that he had the support of the ownership group in the NFL.
During a question and answer period with the media, Goodell appeared to be on the defensive much of the time and didn’t appear to be in charge like one would expect a leader of such an organization to be.
As for now, there won’t be any firings, no fall guys. It’s Roger Goodell admitting that they’ve failed to do the right thing and promising that the necessary steps would be taken to avoid a repeat.
Goodell sent a letter to teams announcing part of the league’s initiative was to begin supporting both the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and to mandate education and training for all players and staff on preventing abuse.
The league also said educational programs for all 32 teams would begin within the next 30 days on preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Several national talking heads, as well as current and former players in the league weren’t impressed by Goodell’s speech. Many of them were calling for the commissioner to resign.
A number of inconsistency’s remain between the story Goodell is telling and what’s being reported in the Ray Rice case. Only time will tell if Goodell will be able to skate free on that issue.