Yael T. Abouhalkah

Roger Goodell has zero credibility on domestic violence solutions for NFL

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference Friday that did nothing to prove he is the right person to rebuild the league’s credibility with fans, especially women.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference Friday that did nothing to prove he is the right person to rebuild the league’s credibility with fans, especially women. The Associated Press

What a joke. That’s the unvarnished way of looking at National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference on Friday.

Under attack for his indefensible handling of domestic violence cases in the past, Goodell showed he has a tin ear to critics who want him to resign — or be fired by the owners.

Instead, Goodell issued a lame apology, especially about what he did with the initial and absurd two-game suspension of Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens.

He also insisted that he’s the guy to keep in charge for the future as the league tries to rebuild its image with fans, especially women, who keep the multibillion-dollar enterprise afloat.

But with sponsors growing increasingly restless, Goodell is the last person who will have anything approaching real credibility to make the needed changes.

Indeed, even as Goodell has hired people to try to do something about the issue in the NFL, more problems have popped up.

Each day, it seems, a new player is accused of domestic violence or, in running back Adrian Peterson’s case, charged with whipping a 4-year-old son.

Goodell’s hubris knows no bounds. As the league’s $44-million-a-year-man, he gets paid by the owners to make them piles of money each year with endorsement deals and broadcasting rights.

Those missions have been accomplished, thanks to America’s nearly insatiable appetite for football, collegiate and professional.

But along the way, something got lost in lust for more money. The greed that overtook the league shoved aside compassion for others, such as the women caught up in domestic violence cases involving NFL players.

The league also took advantage of those players, trying to make them into macho men on the field, while not caring enough whether they could turn off that hostility toward others when they were off the field, at home, with wives, girlfriends or their children.

Roger Goodell was in charge as commissioner during these horrible times. He needs to be gone, and nothing he said Friday convinced me otherwise.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

  Comments