Scandal in the NFL

Jimmy Scalia

More stories from Jimmy Scalia

Parallel Parking
May 25, 2015

National Football League (NFL) is one of the most popular organizations in the world. With a span of 32 teams, the sport is worth over 45 billion dollars through merchandise, sponsors, and the actual games played. Although being one of the most professional organizations in the country, the NFL suffered a series of domestic violence cases among various players across the league during the 2014 offseason. This caused a great deal of publicity and unwanted attention to the sport. One of the most notable cases was Ray Rice’s.

Ray Rice came out of Rutgers and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2008. He showed a lot of promise and potential as his short stature helped him elude tackles throughout his career. On February 15, Ray Rice was arrested for assaulting his then fiancée (now wife) Janay Palmer. TMZ then released a video of Rice dragging his unconscious wife out of the elevator. Many people became suspicious of these actions and many were angered. On March 27, Rice was indicted on charges for the assault. On July 24, Ray Rice was officially suspended for the first two games of the season. The case became quiet from there, only to get even more publicity when NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, changed the domestic violence rules in the NFL. The new rules stated that if a player were to be charged on one offense of a domestic violence dispute, he would be suspended for six games. On the second offense, he would be suspended for life. The media questioned this decision as well because Rice’s suspension remained at two games. Goodell acknowledged this and explained, “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. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.” Many people were outraged by this, but the suspension was upheld. On September 8, TMZ released a video of when Rice and Palmer were in the elevator before he dragged her out. It showed a gruesome video of Rice punching Palmer in the face and it immediately went viral. From there the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely.

This incident is not only pinned on the assault, but how the league handled it. As soon as they changed the domestic violence policy, Rice should’ve been re-suspended at least six games. Instead, Goodell stood by his original statement. The press and the media, along with NFL fans, profusely complained about Goodell’s decision. To add on to the controversy, TMZ reported sending the video of Rice’s assault to NFL offices in April. The NFL was in a world of trouble and Roger Goodell is in the eye of the storm. The investigation has yet to come to a decision, but Goodell will get a good amount of grief and lawsuits.