Embattled NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted today that he “mishandled” and “got it wrong” in his dealing with Baltimore Raven’s Ray Rice’s domestic violence scandal.

“Now I will get it right and will do whatever is necessary to accomplish that,” Goodell said in a press conference today. Goodell also announced that the NFL will now make it mandatory for all team and staff members across all 32 teams in the league to undergo education and training in how to prevent sexual assault and domestic abuse.

Roger Goodell and Ray Rice

When the allegations of domestic violence first made it to public awareness Goodell suspended Rice for only two games and considered the matter closed. The rest of the country didn’t think so. Goodell’s name has been trending on Twitter over the last several months, and he has been under near constant scrutiny by both the media and federal authorities. Earlier this month former FBI director Robert Mueller was asked to investigate the way the NFL handled the situation.


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When further video evidence was leaked showing Rice brutally assaulting then-girlfriend now-wife Janay Palmer, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely. Further difficulties were raised when Goodell’s stories stopped matching up. It is possible that he knew of the tape, and may have seen the contents of it well before he actually suspended Rice, and may have hoped to quash the scandal and keep it from becoming public.

Despite many calls for his resignation—from fans, former players, and the National Organization for Women—Goodell has steadfastly refused.

Amidst the Rice debacle, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been caught up in his own controversy as well. Peterson was indicted earlier this month on child abuse charges. TMZ obtained and released pictures of the what Peterson did to his four year old son, who he is accused of beating and whipping with a switch (tree branch) which resulted in welts, cuts, bruises, and bleeding along the child’s back, legs, ankles, buttocks, and genitals. Goodell’s first response was to suspend Peterson for a single game.

Roger Goodell Controversies

Goodell’s tenure as NFL Commissioner has been a controversial one in general, and his handling of situations has been repeatedly questioned. Among the controversies includes the Michael Vick dog fighting scandal. Vick was convicted in running a dog fighting ring and confessed to beating, torturing and killing several dogs. Vick was suspended indefinitely from the league, and served 20 months in prison. After he was released, Goodell welcomed him back to the league, and in 2011 offered him a $100 million dollar deal to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, making Vick one of the highest paid NFL players in the league.

In 2009 and 2010 Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault by two women. Charges were never formally made and Roethlisberger was suspended for four games.

Twitter Reacts to Roger Goodell Controversies

Goodell has found himself at the center of the storm surrounding the NFL, largely because of his poor handling of the scandals that have plagued him during his tenure as NFL Commissioner. Scrutiny has come from all over Twitter, though the voice of Donovan McNabb, retired quarterback who played in the National Football League for thirteen seasons, was particularly clear in his distrust in Goodell.

Comedian Jim Norton, a noted sports fan and writer for Time Magazine, has spoken on the matter on both Twitter and on his morning radio show Opie with Jim Norton in the Morning.

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