It appears that the NFL Commissioner's press conference failed to end the proverbial bleeding. Following the press conference, ESPN broke another troubling story.
After the Feb. 15 incident in the casino elevator, Ravens executives -- in particular owner Steve Bisciotti, president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome -- began extensive public and private campaigns pushing for leniency for Rice on several fronts: from the judicial system in Atlantic County, where Rice faced assault charges, to commissioner Goodell, who ultimately would decide the number of games Rice would be suspended from this fall, to within their own building, where some were arguing immediately after the incident that Rice should be released.
The Ravens also consulted frequently with Rice's Philadelphia defense attorney, Michael J. Diamondstein, who in early April had obtained a copy of the inside-elevator video and told Cass: "It's f---ing horrible." Cass did not request a copy of the video from Diamondstein but instead began urging Rice's legal team to get Rice accepted into a pretrial intervention program after being told some of the program's benefits. Among them: It would keep the inside-elevator video from becoming public.
For its part, the NFL -- which in other player discipline cases has been able to obtain information that's been sealed by court order -- took an uncharacteristically passive approach when it came to gathering evidence, opening itself up to widespread criticism, allegations of inconsistent approaches to player discipline and questions about whether Goodell gave Rice -- the corporate face of the Baltimore franchise -- a light punishment as a favor to his good friend Bisciotti. Four sources said Ravens executives, including Bisciotti, Cass and Newsome, urged Goodell and other league executives to give Rice no more than a two-game suspension, and that's what Goodell did on July 24.
How the Ray Rice scandal unfolded between the Baltimore Ravens, Roger Goodell and the NFL - ESPN
If this is accurate, the NFL should take significant measures against Bisciotti, Cass and Newsome. Suspending all three from any NFL-related activities until a thorough investigation is completed would not be unreasonable.
Finally, although some of the NFL Commissioner's announced measures were constructive, his failure to name and empower an independent committee to fully examine the NFL's handling of the player cases and to devise an adequate policy framework for dealing with domestic abuse/child abuse cases, his failure to announce that the players currently on paid leave would be switched to unpaid leave (money to be made up with interest at the prevailing rate if they are exonerated), and failure to state that the players could face severe penalties on the order of a season-long suspension or more if they are convicted, suggested a still less than sufficiently decisive approach required to take control of the situation. Probably not too surprisingly, ESPN has now broken another potentially damaging story and NOW has reiterated its call for the NFL Commissioner to resign. How sponsors react in coming days will probably drive the evolution of events, but while the constructive steps can start the healing process, the lack of decisiveness has created risks that the scandal could continue to simmer.
The NFL should have created firm policies for players who commit domestic violence crimes against women and children a long time ago, and they should have been clear and non-negotiable. Such as, if you (ie the player) are arrested for assaulting your wife/girlfriend or child, you are immediately suspended from playing any games for the remainder of the season. If you (again, the player) are convicted on the charge(s), you are cut from the team permanently.
Unfortunately, the NFL has no such policies in place, and doesn't seem to have a clue how to act when its players commit violent crimes. Do they deserve to have this focus on them? Absolutely. Whether or not its devoted fans agree with that focus is irrelevant.
If it's illegal, it's the individual's involved and the law's business.
If it's legal (or no one presses charges), it's only the individual's involved business (assuming all are sane, consenting adults).
Why is it no one else's business if two consenting adults want to have gay sex (which I agree with), but it is everyone else's business if two consenting adults have violent, legal encounters with each other?
If a sane woman is punched by her husband, chooses to forgive him and refuses to press charges...then the incident is no one else's business - especially people that do not even know them.
She may be asking for trouble by doing so, but if she is sane and consenting, it is her right to handle it that way...and no one else's business.
Last edited by DA60; 09-20-14 at 12:13 PM.
'What kind of sick and twisted toy factory is this?'
'We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away.'
"Better to be dead and cool, than alive and uncool."
As for Rice, he was SHOWN punching his then-fiancee-now-wife in the face and knocking her unconscious. I call that an act of domestic violence, no matter what you choose to call it. IMO he should have been arrested for it immediately, as that is considered to be ASSAULT, an arrestable offense, then suspended for the rest of the season.