Where Is Roger Gooddell When You Need Him?

Stanley Alexis, Sports Writer

With all these recent controversies developing around the NFL, there’s no choice but to wonder: Is the NFL Commissioner too soft on his players?

In my opinion, the penalties against Rice and all the other players were nothing at all. Supposedly, the NFL has a “domestic abuse policy” but the same crime was being repeated for two years straight and only the team managers put out legitimate consequences to their players, not the NFL nor Gooddell.

According to Sports Illustrated, since Jan 12th of 2012, 33 NFL players were arrested on charges involving battery, assault, and domestic violence. Of the 33, 15 were involved in domestic abuse cases. However, the cases of Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice created the most conflict .

Ray Rice, former Ravens’ running back, was charged with domestic violence after a video surfaced of him dragging his unconscious fiance out of an elevator. When the NFL was aware of this, they suspended him for just two games. But soon after, a video emerged that showed what went on in the elevator prior to Rice dragging his fiance out of the elevator. When the NFL was aware of the second video, Rice was suspended indefinitely.

The plot twist behind this story is: the NFL was rumored to have seen the full video since May. It escalated from a two game suspension to an indefinite suspension for Rice simply because the video leaked to the public eye, which raises the question: Does the NFL not care about abuse against women and  just sweeps it under the rug until the public hears about it?

The second story, involving Adrian Peterson, is just as upsetting. Peterson was arrested on a felony child abuse charge and was suspended only a few games by the Vikings. NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell, however, didn’t penalize Peterson whatsoever. Even after the Vikings realized they made a mistake and suspended Peterson indefinitely. Roger Gooddell, still, did not say anything.

Now facing a possible ban because of his latest failed drug test, Peterson is the center of attention in the NFL right now. The one person who should be speaking about this and discussing possible consequences, Roger Gooddell, is nowhere to be found.

Besides these two cases, Roger Gooddell was also silent when it came to consequences being put on players that were arrested. If the team managers never suspended the players themselves, they all would be playing after they got cleared of their charges.

All these cases involving players are giving the NFL organization a bad name and reputation. As the leader of the NFL, Gooddell should be aware of this and should be firm and assertive when it comes to crimes involving his players. When a team has consecutive losing seasons, the head coach is immediately fired. So why is it that when a player commits a crime, he has little to no consequences?