Roger Goodell Could Lose Support of Owners Following Independent Probe
The National Football League and its commissioner Roger Goodell are currently in crisis mode following the release of a videotape by TMZ earlier in the month.
If you are unfamiliar with this story, let me bring you up to date.
In February of 2014, former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested for punching his fiancee. A video of Rice and Rice's fiancee circulated in which she was seen lying unconscious outside of an elevator at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The criminal charges against Rice were eventually dropped after he agreed to undergo court-supervised counseling. Rice was also suspended two games by Roger Goodell in a decision that was much-maligned. The public was outraged over the short suspension - so outraged, in fact, that Goodell had to admit that he "didn't get it right" and that the NFL would be instituting longer suspensions for incidents involving domestic violence.
This was another embarrassing situation for the NFL and Roger Goodell, following in the footsteps of "Bounty-Gate", the Miami Dolphins bullying situation and the disastrous use of replacement officials a couple of seasons ago.
The fallout over the Ray Rice situation, however, has intensified dramatically this week following the release of another video by TMZ.
In the video, Ray Rice is seen punching his then-fiancee (now wife) Janay Palmer in the elevator of the Revel Casino. The outrage was immediate and the NFL and Baltimore Ravens rushed to mete out punishment. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely and the Baltimore Ravens cut Rice from their team.
The revelations over the past couple of days, however, threaten Roger Goodell's job.
Roger Goodell had said that there was some "ambiguity" over what happened in the elevator, which is the reason why he gave Ray Rice a relatively light suspension in the first place. Rice, however, has apparently revealed that he was forthcoming in a meeting with Goodell, telling the NFL commissioner that he had, in fact, punched his fiancee in the face.
Goodell has also stated there was no "legal" way for the NFL to get their hands on the casino videotape that showed what actually happened inside of the elevator. According to numerous legal experts, the NFL would have been within their rights to request this videotape from the Revel Casino. This revelation has led many to question how hard Roger Goodell actually tried to pursue the truth in this matter.
The league has now hired former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III to investigate what actually happened and how much Goodell actually knew about the incident before he suspended Rice for two games.
So why does this story matter to a business blog?
In terms of cultural relevance and revenues generated, the NFL is a very big deal in the United States. Let's not forget that the NFL is a $10 billion/year enterprise with most of the league's franchises being valued at well over $1 billion.
The situation is currently spiralling out of control for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and he is at a very real risk of losing his job. According to reports, Goodell currently has the support of the league's owners, though this could change overnight once Robert S. Mueller III concludes his investigation.
The NFL also risks further tarnishing its brand if it is revealed that Goodell knew that Rice had punched his fiancee. The league has endured through a number of different troubling situations since the start of Goodell's term as Commissioner of the league, though this situation could end up being the straw that broke the camel's back.
Will this situation end up costing Roger Goodell his job? The odds seem to be increasing with each passing day.
Filed under: General Knowledge