I’m sick of hearing about all the domestic abuse issues swirling around the NFL, and maybe that’s part of the problem.
Today NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stood up and gave somewhat of an apology for the league’s inept handling of the Ray Rice situation.
However, it failed miserably as an apology.
It seemed forced, disingenuous, and scripted. Goodell’s purposeful misdirection and failed transparency has put himself and the NFL in a terrible light.
New details emerged tonight from an ESPN Outside the Line’s report that were conveniently absent from the commissioner’s address earlier today:
- Ravens executives were made aware of the Ray Rice assault HOURS after it happened instead of what they originally claimed, that they simply had the testimony of Ray and Janay Rice.
- A police lieutenant gave Ravens security director a detailed account of the assault while watching the first video, which was later released by TMZ.
- The Ravens’ owner, president, and GM all petitioned Roger Goodell and the judicial system to have leniency on Ray Rice, which they did, initially.
The only decent man in this whole fiasco, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, requested the immediate release of his STAR running back and the FACE of his FRANCHISE (not an easy guy to cut) upon seeing the video footage. His request was denied by the Ravens owner and GM, a report the Ravens are currently denying – what a surprise. And it was that man, Coach Harbaugh, who the day after the incident was made public was shoved out there to deal with the press when that same owner, president, and GM refused to speak for their actions, or unbelievably lack thereof.
There aren’t enough words in the world to describe the failures of the NFL in general and Roger Goodell in particular over the last several months. But I’m not sure they would be all that helpful even if they could be found.
What the NFL needs is exactly what they don’t have. A leader who is motivated to do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing.
Yet the need is not exclusive to the NFL. Around every corner the world is crying out for true leaders.
When Roger Goodell has chosen to act, it has only been at the prompting of public outcry, or letters written by sponsors threatening to leave a league they will never actually leave since it’s a cash cow.
True leaders lead when it’s necessary, not just when it appears to be beneficial.
True leaders refuse to cover up mistakes in their own leadership or the leadership of others in their organization.
True leaders make the right decisions even when it exposes their own wrong behavior.
The NFL needs real leaders. But so does the world.
How can you be the type of leader the NFL, and more importantly the world, needs?