NFL boss Roger Goodell has said he “got it wrong” in dealing with the violence scandals that have plagued the American football league.
In his first public statement in a week, Roger Goodell apologized for his mistakes and pledged to implement new personal conduct policies.
“We strongly condemn and will punish behavior that is totally unacceptable,” he said.
He has faced calls to resign after a series of assaults involving players.
The commissioner said on Friday he had not considered stepping down and that he had the support of the team owners.
“We will get our house in order,” Roger Goodell said at a press conference in New York.
Roger Goodell announced the NFL plans to set up a new personal conduct committee and draft new rules for the league’s players and staff, which he hoped would be in place for the Super Bowl in early 2015.
The NFL, and Roger Goodell in particular, have been criticized over their handling of an abuse case involving running back Ray Rice from the Baltimore Ravens.
Roger Goodell has said he got it wrong in dealing with the violence scandals that have plagued the NFL
Roger Goodell initially banned Ray Rice for two games after video emerged of him punching his then-fiancée in the face and knocking her out in a lift in Atlantic City in February.
It was only after the video was posted online in August that Ray Rice was cut by the Ravens and banned from the league indefinitely by Roger Goodell.
“I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter,” he said on September 19.
“But now I will get it right and do whatever is necessary to accomplish that.”
The NFL has also come under fire for its handling of other abuse cases, including Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who has been charged with child abuse in Texas after allegedly whipping his four-year-old son.
In recent days, some NFL sponsors have made public statements urging it to do more to address the issue.
On September 19, Procter & Gamble announced it was dropping an on-field breast cancer awareness promotion it had been planning with the NFL.
“Domestic violence is completely unacceptable and we have strongly urged the NFL to take swift and decisive action to address this issue,” said a spokesman.
“Our decision to cancel this on field activity was related to this ongoing issue.”
Other sponsors like PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch have expressed concern. Women make up about 35% of the average television audience of games.
Roger Goodell said NFL staff would be required to undergo training on the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault starting within 30 days.
Roger Goodell said the league will partner with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
Ray Rice’s wife, Janay Palmer Rice, says she is “hurt beyond words” over how her husband has been treated after the NFL star was sacked for punching her.
Ray Rice has been released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video emerged of him hitting his then-fiancée.
The CCTV footage shows them in a lift at the Revel casino in Atlantic City.
They hit each other before Ray Rice knocks her “unconscious” with a punch.
The video, released by the Associated Press, was shown to them on Monday night by a law enforcement official. The pair can be heard swearing and shouting at each other and it looks like Janay Palmer spits at Ray Rice just before he hits her.
Janay Palmer falls to the floor, and he then drags her from the lift, where he is met by hotel staff.
One of them can be heard saying: “She’s drunk, right?”
And then: “No cops.”
Ray Rice does not seem to respond.
A video of Ray Rice pulling Janay Palmer from the lift first emerged months ago on TMZ. It didn’t show the full attack.
Janay Palmer and Ray Rice have since married.
In a post on Instagram, Janay Rice says it feels like a “horrible nightmare” and seemingly defends her husband.
She blames the media and public outcry for taking “something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life”.
After suggesting the pair regret the incident she said it has left them feeling hurt, embarrassed, alone and without happiness.
“THIS IS OUR LIFE… Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!”
Ray Rice has been released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video emerged of him hitting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer (photo AP)
Things are continuing to get worse for Ray Rice – Nike have confirmed they have dropped him as one of their sponsored athletes and EA Sports are removing him from their 2015 version of the NFL game Madden.
Meanwhile, local businesses in Baltimore have begun offering discounted goods in return for Ray Rice jerseys.
Hersh’s pizzeria posted their offer on Facebook: “Come trade your Ray Rice Ravens Jersey in for a free pizza at Hersh’s. These jerseys will save us money on toilet paper this week.”
Their neighbors, the No Idea Tavern responded on Twitter with their own offer – a ten dollar bar tab for every jersey handed to them.
The latest from the Baltimore Ravens came in a one-sentence press release on September 8.
“The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon,” it said.
Earlier in the day the team had claimed to have never seen the video.
“It’s something we saw for the first time today, all of us,” said Coach John Harbaugh.
“It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different.”
He said he had spoken with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, team president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome after they saw the video and they then decided to fire Ray Rice.
Back in July, after the shorter video emerged, Ray Rice was suspended for two games for domestic violence. He said his actions were “inexcusable”.
At the time Ozzie Newsome said: “We respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be.
“That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect.
“We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.”
Ray Rice was also arrested over the incident and an Atlantic City police summons stated that he caused “bodily injury to Janay Palmer, specifically by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious”.
He was charged with felony aggravated assault, but in May he was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail.
Coach John Harbaugh said at the time: “The thing I appreciate about it is how Ray has handled it afterward by acknowledging it was wrong and he’ll do everything he can do to make it right.
“That’s what you ask for when someone does a wrong thing. So, I’m proud of him for that.”
The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that, based on the new video evidence, Ray Rice has been suspended indefinitely.
“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said on Monday morning.
“That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”
This echoes what Roger Goodell said on August 1 during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, when he claimed they were still “evaluating” the situation.
“I’m not going to go into what he told us or anything or if it matches or if it doesn’t,” Ravens receiver Torrey Smith said.
“That doesn’t matter. What matters is what you see. It wasn’t a pleasant site at all.”
The White House has also released a statement saying: “The President is the father of two daughters.
“And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society.
“Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors.”
So far Ray Rice’s lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, has declined to comment
Ray Rice hasn’t spoken often to the media, but on July 31 he said it was “something I have to live with the rest of my life”.
ESPN sportscaster Stephen A. Smith has been suspended for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse.
Stephen A. Smith suggested women should make sure that they don’t do anything to provoke an attack.
His comments occurred during a discussion on ESPN2’s First Take on July 25 about the NFL’s two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice following charges he assaulted his now-wife. The remarks attracted widespread attention, including a stinging rebuke online from a fellow ESPN personality.
Stephen A. Smith issued an on-air apology on July 28, saying it was the most egregious mistake of his career.
A day later, ESPN took action. The network’s chief executive, John Skipper, told ESPN’s staff in a memo it was done after a “thoughtful discussion” about appropriate actions with men and women in his company.
Stephen A. Smith has been suspended for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse (photo ESPN)
“I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we’ve collectively experienced,” John Skipper said.
Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN radio until August 6, ESPN said
During the Rice discussion, Stephen A. Smith alluded to women in abuse cases when he said: “Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong action … we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Shortly after his remarks, colleague Michelle Beadle responded on Twitter that: “I was just forced to watch this morning’s First Take. A) I’ll never feel clean again B) I’m not aware that I can provoke my own beating.”
Michelle Beadle, host of ESPN2’s SportsNation, continued with a series of tweets. She said that “Violence isn’t the victim’s issue. It’s the abuser’s. To insinuate otherwise is irresponsible and disgusting.”
During his apology, Stephen A. Smith said it wasn’t his intention to say that women could be responsible for their own abuse.
“It was not what I was trying to say,” he said.
“Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulder.”
He didn’t explain the point that he was trying to make.
ESPN frowns upon its personalities attacking each other on social media or other forums. But it did not announce any punishment for Michelle Beadle.