With domestic violence becoming a hot button issue in the NFL today, it’s clear that the league needs to take a firmer stance on the matter and institute a uniform policy for any future offenders. Last month when a video was obtained by TMZ of Ray Rice’s vicious attack on his wife Janay in an Atlantic City Casino elevator, it sent shockwaves throughout the country and called into question commissioner Roger Goodell’s transparency and commitment to protecting the integrity of the NFL.
Adrien Peterson’s child abuse scandal has only furthered the public perception that domestic violence in the NFL is widespread and the commissioner’s office has simply attempted to sweep a serious problem under the proverbial rug. As Goodell continues to lose votes in the poll of public opinion, his future job security could very well be pending the outcome of the independent investigation into the league’s handling of Rice’s videotape controversy.
A player who shared an interesting perspective on Goodell’s current situation and the league’s best course of action moving forward is former New York Giant great Leonard Marshall. A two-time Super Bowl champion, Marshall’s accomplishments didn’t stop at the conclusion of his playing career and since he has served as an NFL radio host, noted philanthropist and successful entrepreneur with ventures ranging from launching a sports apparel company to assembling a franchise income fund.
With a wealth of knowledge and experience both on and off the gridiron to draw from, Marshall notes that if Goodell wants to salvage his reputation he needs to implement a more stringent punishment for violators of the league’s domestic violence policy.
“I don’t think it’s so much that it’s out of control that the NFL has a problem with it, I think the NFL has a problem with how it deals with it and how it addresses it on a national basis as opposed to an individual case by case,” admitted Marshall. “I think it’s been handled on a case by case situation in that it’s always different strokes for different folks. “There needs to be one policy, one program, one way we treat it and that’s it. No leniency involved.”
A zero tolerance policy could be just what the doctor ordered, but whether Goodell will still be around to spearhead such an initiative remains to be seen. With a growing sentiment that the commissioner’s days could be numbered, Marshall insists that Goodell has done far more good than bad during his eight years calling the shots.
”Well anybody’s job can be in jeopardy, but the main thing with Roger Goodell at this point is that he has made the owners a lot of money,” said Marshall. “He’s introduced new concepts for them to make money by way of the internet, television, radio, internet radio and so on and so forth. There are new ways these guys have found to make money and whether they’re sharing the revenues with the players or not there are so many ways to do it now.”
In spite of the public outcry for Goodell to acknowledge his missteps regarding domestic violence, Marshall thinks that the commissioner will ultimately get things right sooner, rather than later.
"I think Goodell in his last address to the public, he made it evident that the NFL has to fix this and is going to take the next six months between now and shortly after the Super Bowl to remedy the problem."
Week 6 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Record Speed for New Military Chopper
Top NFL Running Backs of All Time
October Hunting: Game On!