The NFL Commissioner has finally broken his silence, following several high profile domestic violence incidents involving NFL players. Not only did Roger say he’s ‘sorry,’ but he laid out the league’s plans to change their personal conduct policy.
Roger Goodell, 55, admitted “I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter,” when he faced the media about the domestic violence epidemic in the NFL during a press conference at Hilton Midtown Hotel in NYC on Sept. 19. Roger also laid out specific plans on how the league will condemn and punish unacceptable behavior, including domestic and child abuse, moving forward.
Roger Goodell Press Conference: NFL Commissioner Apologizes For Handling Of Ray Rice Matter
“The NFL sets an example that makes a positive difference. Unfortunately, we have all seen too much the NFL doing wrong, and that starts with me. I said this before, back on August 28, and I say it again now. I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter and I’m sorry for that. I got it wrong on a number of levels from the process that I led to the decision that I reached, but now i will get it right and do whatever is necessary to accomplish that,” Roger said at the start of his press conference.
Roger acknowledged that not many people are happy with him, following his handling of the Ray Rice matter. In fact, he said that he doesn’t “expect anyone just to take my word,” which is why he is ready to take action.
“We will do whatever is necessary to be more thorough in the future. We will get our house in order,” Roger added.
The league’s commissioner believes that these incidents can be used to help create change.
In the next month, education courses will start, followed by training programs.
“Domestic violence affects all of us and it exists everywhere. These are problems we are committed to addressing, but we can not solve them by ourselves. The criminal justice system, social services, and families are the cornerstone to addressing these problems. For our part, we will add and we will do more,” Roger said.
The NFL plans to condemn and punish behavior that is totally unacceptable. This includes acts of domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual assault, irresponsible ownership or handling of firearms, as well as illegal use of alcohol or drugs.
So how does the NFL plan on achieving this? “Through education and discipline,” Roger explained.
There will be changes to the league’s personal conduct policy, which will be implemented before 2015’s Super Bowl.
When asked whether he’s considered resigning, Roger said, “I have not. I’m focused on doing my job.”
Obviously, actions speak louder than words, so we have a feeling that Roger’s future moves will be closely watched.
Protester Interrupts Press Conference: ‘Don’t Take Me To An Elevator’
Unfortunately, Roger’s press conference was interrupted by a protester. While pretending to be attacked, a man, who TMZ identified as Benjy Bronk from The Howard Stern Show, screamed “don’t take me to an elevator” several times. Of course, he was referencing the now famous elevator fight between Ray Rice and his now wife, Janay Palmer.
NFL’s Domestic Violence Incidents: Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson & More
Before the Sept. 8 release of a video, showing Ray Rice knocking out Janay earlier this year, Roger claimed he hadn’t seen the elevator footage. Yet, the Associated Press reported the video had been sent to the NFL in April, according to Sporting News.
“Rice was suspended by Goodell for two games on July 25. He was also fined more than $500,000 (two game checks from this season, and one from 2013),”according to ESPN. Once the video surfaced, however, the NFL’s personal conduct policy came under fire. Subsequently, Ray was suspended from the NFL indefinitely.
Furthermore, Minnesota Vikings’ running back, Adrian Peterson, was recently indicted on child abuse charges. And Carolina Panters’ Greg Hardy was deactivated from a Sept. 14 game due to a domestic abuse conviction stemming from a shocking and violent incident in May.
What do YOU think about Roger’s speech, HollywoodLifers? Are you happy with what he said? Tell us how you feel!