What Roger Goodell and the NFL SHOULD Have Said

Oh, Roger.

Skipping over the fact that your entire reading of the NFL’s carefully crafted script was wooden and lacking any sincerity, I can’t believe that that was the output of an ostensibly top-notch PR and Communications staff.

It was a disappointing exercise in corporate CYA standard operating procedure – say that you screwed up (without actually taking any punishment), throw some money at an organization that combats the problems you exacerbated, and finish off with a cliche-fest of buzzwords about how nothing is off the table, you will use all available resources, you will get this right, these colors don’t run, shifting the paradigm, outside the box, blah blah blah.

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Here’s what you should have said, Roger :

“Hello, and thanks for coming here today.  Let me get straight to the point.  I made mistakes – in no uncertain terms, I screwed up – badly.  I failed to use my authority within the league and influence in the public eye to swiftly and emphatically denounce domestic violence  in any form.  For this, I am truly sorry.  While I will not resign from my position – as I believe I am still the man best suited to right this wrong and continue to push our league in a positive direction – I do want to show my contrition for my failings in the form of donating my entire salary for this calendar year to organizations leading the fight to end domestic violence.

As for the operations of our league moving forward, let me make this simple and clear : if you are a player or coach employed by the National Football League, and you are accused of any form of domestic violence, you will be immediately removed from all league activities.  You will be required to speak with me, personally, and discuss the matter.  We will use our extensive resources to investigate the incident – separate from the legal process, which we will neither interfere with nor wait for.  IF you are forthright, honest, and cooperative, AND our investigative team clears you of wrong doing, you will be cleared to resume your activities in the NFL, with full pay.  This will not excuse you from the proper legal process, and we reserve the right to take further disciplinary action if and when the legal system comes to a conclusion that varies from ours.

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However, IF you are at any point dishonest or untruthful with myself or our investigative team, OR if our investigative process determines that you have, in fact, perpetrated an act of domestic violence – regardless of the legal outcome – you will be given a severance package upon the completion of training and therapy designed to help you understand the error in your actions, and never repeat them.  You will also be banned from this league for life.  The National Football League stands for excellence and integrity beyond reproach, and men that behave in this manner have no place here.  I repeat – if you commit an act of domestic violence, you will never again play in this league.  Thank you.”


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