Considering NFL news is no longer about the NFL, Roger Goodell is taking further steps to try to get the players and attention back on the field. Domestic violence is the big issue right now (as I’m sure all of you are far too aware of). Plenty has been written on that subject, so I’ll refrain from delving too much into that situation, but what we do now know is that the league is hiring four female advisors to attempt to change outside perception of how it handles situations and hopefully do some good internally as well.
The full report can be read from Daniel Kaplan, but basically there’s now an expanding department of Social Responsibility. Anna Isaacson, currently Vice President of Community Affairs and Philanthropy, is stepping over to be Vice President of Social Responsibility. In addition, the following women are being brought on board.
- Lisa Friel, the former Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
- Jane Randel, a co-founder of NO MORE, “a national initiative to raise the profile of and normalize the conversation about domestic violence and sexual assault.”
- Rita Smith, the “former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence”
Now, this is undoubtedly going to be dismissed as damage control by a man who’s desperate to keep his job in a time when plenty of fans are calling for more than that. I’m going to set aside the cynic in me and say that Goodell really is striving to better the process here. I don’t necessarily know that simply bringing in a new gender is going to do the trick, but it’s likely a step in the right direction.
In terms of the commissioner’s job, I’m a firm believer in what the court of public opinion has forgotten: innocent until proven guilty. Until we know for sure that he saw the video and only suspended Rice for two games, then that cannot be the reason that he’s chucked out of office. Now that doesn’t mean that he can’t be pulled for other reasons, but that shouldn’t be the main catalyst.
In the meantime, hopefully this becomes a moot point, as players will realize that you shouldn’t be beating anyone up, especially when you’re in the national spotlight and a role model for millions of kids. Unfortunately, if history is any indicator, that won’t be the case.