Is Roger Goodell Good for the NFL?

The National Football League
The National Football League

It has certainly been an interesting 2014-2015 in the National Football League. With new arrests for domestic family violence, DWIs, and theft, some were calling it the National Felon League.

Here is a partial list of major allegations among the National Fel..err Football League:

  • Indianapolis Colts Josh McNary (rape), D’Qwell Jackson (assault) and Andrew Jackson (drunken driving)
  • Green BayPackers defensive tackleLetroy Guion (drugs)
  • New Orlean Saints pass rusherJunior Galette (assault)
  • New York Jets running back Chris Johnson (weapons)
  • Chicago Bears cornerbackTim Jennings (drunken driving)

All of these have happened since January 1st, 2015!

Then, you add the saga of Dallas Cowboys running back, Joseph Randle. No, I’m not talking about stealing cologne or underwear from the mall. I’m talking about police investigating a domestic abuse claim made by an ex-girlfriend a day after his arrest at a Kansas hotel on a drug charge that has since been dropped. The probe continues.

Adrian Peterson disciplining his child with a “switch” caused a suspension from the NFL beginning in November of last year. He has since been reinstated and still belongs to the Minnesota Vikings.

Then there are others, like Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who was suspended for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell received 15 months’ probation in a first-offender’s program following his August arrest on marijuana charges. Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, and was placed on probation in a case stemming from alleged assaults on his wife last year.

As you can see, Commissioner Goodell has been a busy guy.

Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner

I haven’t even touched on the Greg Hardy imbroglio. The NFL announced Wednesday that Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy has been suspended without pay for the team’s first 10 games of the 2015 regular season for conduct detrimental to the league.

Ray MacDonald is another name that comes up under the microscope. MacDonald was released by the San Francisco 49ers in December after law enforcement officials in San Jose, California, said he was under investigation on suspicion of sexual assault. McDonald hasn’t been charged in that case, which remains open.

All of these incidents are happening under the watch of Commissioner Roger Goodell. The staunch disciplinarian who decided to suspend Ray Rice for 2 games because of the incident in a hotel elevator, was stunned to see the video of said attack. After, and only AFTER, the video became public, did Goodell suspend Rice indefinitely.

That brings us back to Greg Hardy. Was Hardy wrong? Yes. Does he deserve to be punished? Most certainly. Is Goodell coming down hard on Hardy to make a point? You bet. While domestic violence is appalling, how this matter has been handled is just as bad.

If Ray Rice was only given 2 games for “punching” his girlfriend, how many would Hardy get? People guessed 4-6 games; no one saw 10 coming. He will surely appeal and will likely get that number reduced.

I heard someone grumbling about Ben Roethlisberger not being punished by the NFL after two women accused him of rape. Others were bemoaning how the New England Patriots escaped with nothing after it was determined they used deflated balls in a playoff game.

Inconsistency is the rule with the NFL. All I can say is this: If Goodell wants to improve the product on the field with ALL demographics, women included, he’d better get to work on his discipline issues.

In an article published by the Associated Press, Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president for football operations, said: “Our young men are presented with the greatest platform in the world and how they carry that responsibility determines public perception. Our efforts are focused every day on raising the standard of excellence. We take the approach of shared responsibility and personal accountability in that we have resources and mentors in place to assist these young men where they are challenged. It is their responsibility to utilize them.”

As an educator, I have personally seen that even young children understand discipline. What they don’t understand is when a student gets punished for an action, and another student does the exact same thing and goes unpunished.

Discipline must be fair. It must be meted out, equally, to ALL parties, and it MUST be swift. Don’t take 3 months to punish. Do it immediately.

Goodell has literally dropped the ball. Either he works on handling things better, or maybe he’d better head for the door.


Ronnie Garcia is the Voice of Reason at The Scoop. He is also an avid guitarist, educator, and all around smarmy guy. You can follow him on twitter @TheRonMann

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