Roger Goodell's horrific handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case keeps coming back to haunt him. The 44 million dollar man was dealt another terrible blow to his character and job performance as a federal judge overruled his second suspension of Ray Rice after the video was released to the public.
Goodell had initially barred Rice for only two games, then extended the ban after video of the episode emerged. The former judge who was the arbitrator in the appeal, Barbara S. Jones, said that wasn’t fair and that the league could not punish someone twice for the same offense. Now Rice, the face of the domestic-violence problem in the N.F.L., is free to sign with any team immediately.
Jones included a line in her ruling that was probably a very painful “if” for Goodell: “If this were a matter where the first discipline imposed was an indefinite suspension, an arbitrator would be hard-pressed to find that the commissioner had abused his discretion. But that is not the case before me.”
Goodell has made so many mistakes in the case that it is hard to keep track of them. He has been breaking the rules that he has been making up as he goes along. The owners either see that and don’t care because Goodell has made them so much money, or they continue to wear blinders.
To make matters worse for Goodell, the judge didn't believe what he or the NFL had presented in the second Rice suspension.
Jones said she didn’t believe the N.F.L.'s version of the facts in the Rice case. Rice had no reason to lie to the N.F.L. about what he had done in that elevator, she said, because his criminal case in the matter was already closed.