Rice sparks controversy, Goodell fumbles delicate situation


By Connor Smith
The National Football League (NFL) has come under recent criticism for the way in which they have handled domestic abuse. Although there have been many domestic abuse incidents, the case of Ray Rice has been scrutinized the  most.
On Feb. 15, Rice was charged with simple assault for beating his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City elevator. After a long review process, the NFL slapped Rice with a controversial two game suspension. Then, on the morning of Sept. 8, TMZ.com released the shocking video of Rice punching Palmer in the elevator. After the Baltimore Ravens organization and the NFL saw the clip, Rice was cut from the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Rice is currently still unemployed and unlikely to return to football this year.
What has gone largely unnoticed in this case is what women have to say about domestic violence incidents. “Under no circumstance should domestic violence be overlooked simply because that person is a football player,” said junior Nadia Racaniello. “There are also too many silent victims of domestic abuse. If I am ever in a situation like this, I would speak out, as it is a woman’s duty to speak out against domestic abuse.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell has also been attacked by the media for the manner in which he handled the Rice case. He even sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams stating that he “got it wrong,” when it came to the original two game suspension he gave to Rice. He also waited ten days to speak after Ray Rice was released and suspended. Goodell was criticized for the way in which he delivered his press conference; although he often admitted that he was wrong, he never took a definitive stance on what he would do about domestic violence going forward.
Many NFL fans agree that Goodell has done a poor job handling the Rice case. “The way the events following Ray Rice’s original suspension took place is embarrassing,” said senior Jacob Salem. “The biggest problem for Goodell is that it is obvious he had access to the elevator tape, but knew it would harm the NFL’s image if it was released.”
Even though the NFL will  always attract a large amount of viewers, this occurrence is humiliating to the NFL’s image. There is now a lot of pressure on Goodell to make sure that there are no more cases of domestic violence in the organization.