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Silber: Fire Roger Goodell

BY KELIN SILBER | JUNE 25, 2015 5:00 AM

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Last year, the NFL’s season ended with an amazing Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. This season featured everything you could want from the NFL. However, it was greatly overshadowed by the actions of the league’s players, which was first showcased when TMZ released elevator footage of Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancée.

Throughout the season, more reports of violence, domestic and other, came to light. The most recent of these comes from Junior Galette of the New Orleans Saints.

Initially reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune and confirmed by CBS, Galette was allegedly involved in a large spring-break brawl in March 2013. A video hosted by YouTube shows Galette fighting with several people, most notably striking a woman twice with his belt. In an ESPN interview, he stated, “Really, at this level, you can conduct yourself as a choir boy; sometimes the trouble comes to you.”

Really? An unarmed, shouting woman must be a huge threat to an NFL linebacker.

It is unclear when the Saints obtained the video, although it was likely after September, when the team offered Galette a $40 million contract extension. However, ESPN reported that the Saints did in fact send the NFL a copy of the video. When the NFL became aware is unknown.

Should the NFL have had the video before the public became aware of its existences, then the circumstances surrounding Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ray Rice video should be re-examined, as it would be the second instance of the NFL having access to incriminating video information about a player and failing to disclose it to the public.

During the height of the Rice scandal, Goodell said he hadn’t seen the video, and had “asked Ray Rice on multiple occasions.” Once again, this is hard to believe. If the folks over at TMZ can access the video, but the NFL cannot, then there is something seriously wrong with the governing body. And that starts at the head.

I have been on the fire-Goodell-train since Rice was only suspended for three games, which is less than actions like smoking pot. That was back before the video was released. Within a week of the public backlash, Rice was suspended for the season, and Goodell played defense, saying he was unaware of everything, although Rice had admitted to the abuse and cooperated fully with Goodell.

Even if the NFL is telling the truth in this situation, it further shows that the NFL really doesn’t care past the surface (or money). This would mean that Rice walked into Goodell’s office, admitted to everything, and then left. No further investigation. That type of behavior seems rather unacceptable from the commissioner of a billion dollar organization.

If the NFL had access to the Galette video before the report on June 19, then it just shows history repeating itself. If we want a league plagued with constant reports of violence and inhuman acts, Goodell should stay.

However, if not, fire Goodell for conduct unbecoming of the league’s integrity. Fire him for doing nothing about situations that could have been observed and handled long before public outrage. Fire him for standing idly by, while his players commit acts like these, and not acting for the better good of the league’s players and friends until the public intervenes.


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