A Fox News panel concluded on Sunday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was not going to step down so groups like the National Organization for Women should stop calling for him to resign.
September 14, 2014

A Fox News panel concluded on Sunday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was not going to step down so groups like the National Organization for Women should stop calling for him to resign.

Wendy Murphy, an attorney who Fox News host John Roberts introduced as a "victims rights advocate," acknowledged that the NFL had a "culture problem" because it often covered up violence as the Ray Rice case illustrated.

"The cover-up almost always works and that's the problem," she explained. "There's a problem in larger society too, and I want to be clear about this. Goodell should take some heat, but there is a lower rate of domestic violence in the NFL compared to domestic violence in the real world. And we need to talk about larger society as well."

Roberts pointed out that The Associated Press had reported that Rice had told Goodell that he had knocked out his then-fiancée, Janay, even before elevator video of the incident was leaked.

"It won't affect his job," Fox News contributor Jim Gray insisted. "There's zero appetite from the NFL owners. I've spoken to several of them personally, there have been a number of statements that have come out. Zero appetite to fire Roger Goodell. Unless they found that he's not being truthful, he will not resign. Absolutely, he will not resign."

Seemingly convinced that the issue of Goodell's resignation had been resolved, the Fox News host asked Murphy what the NFL could do about groups like the National Organization for Women calling for him to step down.

"For decades after O.J. Simpson, everybody claimed that they understood now what domestic violence was now," Murphy opined. "And they really haven't done enough. One of the problems, I think, is that it has always been about money. How do you change the culture. How do you make an industry that really benefits from these violent men continuing to be able to play, how do you turn that around and say, 'Some things are more important than money.'"

"And I do not agree with the National Organization for Women, let me be clear, that they have the moral authority that Goodell step down," she continued. "Because they have not yet called for the prosecutor to step down. And the prosecutor is the number one voice. If the prosecutor treats violence against women as a shoplifting charge, which is really what happened here, then everyone in society takes in the message, including Roger Goodell, including the the team owners, including the guys, that this isn't that bad."

Gray insisted that the NFL players who were responsible for the "incursions" of violence were a small minority.

"It's really wrong to paint the entire National Football League and its players and its employees as people who are lawless, it's just not right," he said. "Yes, maybe the numbers are higher than the rest of society, and yes they do have a problem, and yes they need to continue to have vigilance and be much better at it."

"But to say this is a universally widespread ongoing existence, a structural failure at the highest level of all of these people committing these crimes, that's just not true. And there's nothing to support that."

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