NFL Goodell's Press Conference Doesn't Go Too Well

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference about the organization's policies on domestic violence. A week after apologizing for not being tough enough during the Ray Rice situation, Goodell tried to respond to continuing criticism and unanswered questions, but critics were harsh.

The entire conference is captured here by Fox News. His speech begins at 21:25.

 Here are some highlights:

  • Started with another apology: "I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter, and I'm sorry for that."
  • Outlined steps taken, including asking for an independent investigation, and promised "swift action" based on those findings.
  • Described information distributed about support organizations and education sessions planned for staff to be followed by training programs.
  • Said the league recognizes sexual assault and domestic violence issues and has entered into parternships with a hotline and resource center.
  • Promised to condemn and punish illegal behavior.

Then Goodell talked about our legal system and that "everyone deserves a fair process." He promised changes to their conduct policies by the Superbowl and said, "nothing is off the table." He complimented players, coaches, and staff and focused on "positive, significant changes going forward."

Goodell 1Press questions focused on his unilateral power, questioned whether the NFL asked for the entire Ray Rice video as claimed (34:40 and 45:00) and what Rice told him 41:20), pondered whether Goodell is holding himself accountable and whether he has considered resigning (37:10 and 38:00). In response, Goodell said he has no plans to resign and focused on the "work to be done."

Critics said Goodell is not doing enough and skirted tough questions.

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Discussion Starters:

  • Do you find Goodell believable, particularly about the Ray Rice situation?
  • Watch the exchange starting at 45:40. The reporter pushes Goodell to consider why the Rice situation was difficult (46:33). Could Goodell have approached the question differently?
  • Overall, what could Goodell have done differently to get better reviews of the press conference? Consider both his initial statement and how he handled the Q&A.
  • Should Goodell resign?