Roger Goodell is chummy with his bosses, the NFL owners – he makes them obscene amounts of money – so you had to see this next step coming in L’affaire Ray Rice: The reason he didn’t give the Ravens running back a longer suspension was out of respect to Rice and his now-wife, Janay. An owner anonymously told the Wall Street Journal:
Goodell privately told other owners that during his investigation, in a meeting with the Rices in June, Janay Rice said she had struck her then-fiancée and that she believed she was partly at fault for the incident. Goodell also said he left the meeting believing that Janay Rice had become unconscious because she had fallen during the scuffle.
You buying that?
The Baltimore Ravens came out today and already said that what Ray Rice told them over the summer about the incident is exactly how it appeared in the elevator video. So they weren’t surprised. (Yet, they still staunchly defended Rice; then, when the video emerged, they dumped him.) So did Ray Rice tell Roger Goodell one version of the incident, and then another to the Ravens? What purpose would that serve?
So Goodell, now backed into a corner, has an easy play, even if it comes out that he had seen the video, or the NFL tried to bury it or whatever: His 2-game suspension can be directly attributed to the Rice family, because of what they told me.
Pin it on them.
Two people familiar with the commissioner’s thinking, including the owner, said they believe the thoroughness of the investigation, and Goodell’s decision to suspend Rice for two games, both reflected Goodell’s discomfort with challenging Janay Rice’s story.
So after the investigation clears Goodell, are we going to get an independent investigation to the investigation?