I have to admit, I'm never been a big fan of Roger Goodell.
For one thing, the dude makes $44 million a year.
He's done a lot of questionable things since replacing Paul Tagliabue as commissioner of the National Football League, but even if you believe he's been the ideal leader taking the game into the 21st century, that's just an absurd amount of money for one man running a sports league. But hey, Americans love their pro football.
Goodell had been getting the worst reviews in his tenure when he gave now former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice just a two-game suspension for the domestic violence incident this past winter with his then fiance, Janay Palmer. A video at that time showed Rice dragging the unconscious woman out of the elevator and dumping her limp body on the floor.
The minimum penalty looked horrific considering that players busted for smoking pot had been getting much harsher treatment. And it led Goodell two weeks ago to realize he had severely erred, so he toughened the punishment for domestic violence to a six-game penalty for a first offense and possible life sentence for a second.
But the heat that Goodell was facing is nothing like it is today, after TMZ's release of a second video showing that Rice actually punched his fiance in the face in that Atlantic City casino in February. The League denies they saw that video before yesterday, and insist that they requested it from New Jersey authorities (something in serious dispute, considering the connections the league has with law enforcement). The fact that Goodell interviewed Janay Palmer Rice with her husband in the same room was always wrong — but now seems outrageously wrong.
Goodell isn't going to resign, and the NFL owners who pay his salary probably aren't going to call on him to step down, either, since the league's finances are in awesome shape. But hasn't he lost his moral authority to lead?
Time for Goodell to speak up for himself.
In other news...
No Tax for Tracks, the anti-Greenlight Pinellas group, says a new poll conducted by St. Pete Polls shows the transit referendum would lose if the election were held today. But Yes on Greenlight disputes the findings.
The share-riding behemoth that is Uber is calling on its fans in Tampa to lobby two Hillsborough County Commissioners who serve on the Public Transportation Commission to allow citizens the option of taking a ride on Uber (or Lyft).