I know Roger Goodell is a busy guy. But you'd think the guy would at least try and hide his hypocrisy.
Trying to shoehorn an ill-advised expansion team into Europe while increasing the number of Thursday night games and pretending to care about player safety is hard work.
But the one thing he always seemed to find the time for is punishing his players.
I’m convinced there is nothing the Ginger Hammer relishes more than imposing his signature brand of haughty 1-percenter justice on his employees. This could be due to a scorching inferiority complex that has driven him to become the king-of-all-sports pencil pushers, or the fact that he’s really a powerless do-boy for the owners and punishing players is the only real way he gets to flex some administrative muscle.
Socks not high enough? Remember there are two L’s in Goodell when you write that check for 10 grand.
Jersey not tucked in too? Maybe you should think about a weekly deduction to the league?
Smoking pot, you say? Off to the NFL gulag for four games, you dirty hippie.
Test positive for PEDs? Those traps will look sweet in your fantasy profile, but that’s a four-game ban as well.
Get caught driving a car full of cash and drugs you don’t have a prescription for? Please, Mr. Irsay, let me help you neatly stack this cash while we wait for Uber to arrive...
Which brings us to the case of Baltimore Ravens Running back Ray Rice. Mr. Rice was just suspended two games by Commandant Goodell after he allegedly knocked his then-fiancé and now-wife Janay unconscious on an elevator and then dragged her out like a bag of laundry.
So much for law and order.
This is almost as inexcusable and half-witted as suspending Ben Rothlisberger six games for his role in two alleged sexual assaults and then commuting the suspension to four games because the newly reformed Big Ben didn’t assault any more women in the meantime.
Think about this: Ray Rice deliberately and violently knocked his soon to be wife out cold and he gets suspended three games less than Terrelle Pryor did for getting free tattoos in college. Wait it gets worse....
This comes after NFL fans had to spend the past couple of years listening to the Goodell and the league preach from the moral high ground about the Saints Bounty Scandal. We had to suspend disbelief and pretend that every defender in the league isn’t looking to make a violent, game-changing kill shot whenever possible and a couple extra bucks was the difference between the Saints careening down a path of wanton brutality and living up to their pious team name.
"I don't think you can be too hard on people that put at risk our players' health and safety," Said Roger Goodell in the Bounty aftermath. "You have to be accountable and responsible in the NFL." And true to his word, Goodell dropped the hammer on the Saints players and coaches for their alleged, deliberate intent to harm and injure their opponents.
Now can someone please explain to me how that is that any different than what Ray Rice did to his wife in that elevator? At least the players on the field had a fighting chance. Every individual suspended in the Saints scandal ended up with a longer ban than Ray Rice.
How can that be right? How can a commissioner that in 2012 was talking about taking a stand against domestic abuse, hand down such a trivial suspension given the violence of Rice’s actions? How can Goodell look at himself in the mirror and justify being a modern day Hammurabi with on field violence and so lenient when a woman is at the receiving end of the hits?
Like most things in Roger Goodell's NFL, it probably comes down to money.
During "Bountygate", the league was in the midst of nickeling and diming its way to a settlement with a concussion lawsuit brought by a host of former and current players. They had a serious financial stake in appearing to come down hard on in-game violence and keeping up their farcical crusade for “player safety”.
Unless Mrs. Rice plans on going after the league in court with a Roman legion of Harvard Law's finest, "spousal safety" apparently gets delegated somewhere after goalpost height and a London Monarchs reunion in NFL's hierarchy of priorities.
Heck, given the league's recent history, she's lucky Goodell even acknowledged her concussion existed.