Roger Goodell clearly misunderstood the potential outcry following the two-game suspension given to Ray Rice. I’ve argued that he could have more emphatically stated to the public why he was so lenient with the Ravens running back.
And today he’s done just the opposite and admitted to making a mistake in a letter to the NFL owners.
“At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals. We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence. … My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values.
“I didn’t get it right.”
From this point forward every first-time offender will be given a minimum six-game suspension. A second-time offender will be banished from the NFL for life.
Goodell’s public admission of failure in penalizing Rice coupled with the severity of the penalties going forward just made the 2014 season an even bigger living hell for Raymell Mourice Rice.
Some will say Rice deserves it.
But Goodell’s mistake now etches Rice’s name in stone when it comes to domestic violence and the NFL.
If Goodell “got it right” and suspended him in a way that he now believes is appropriate and appeases the outcry from fans, it may have been easier for Rice.
Now Rice’s worst fears may someday come to fruition.
That whenever his daughter Googles Rice’s name, this will show up at the top of the search.