|Rodney Harrison on D&C: NFL domestic abuse cases ‘sickening,’ ‘heartbreaking’||09.19.14 at 11:02 am ET|
NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss league news, including the domestic abuse problem. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice, among others, have dominated the headlines the last couple of weeks because of their domestic abuse cases and the league’s reaction. Harrison said the few players who have done bad things off the field have overshadowed the good people in the league.
“It’s really unfortunate because you have five or six guys involved in these domestic disputes,” Harrison said. “It’s really sickening because you have some of these guys doing positive stuff across the league. Unfortunately four or five guys take away the body of work that everyone else is doing. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. There’s never a room or space to hit a woman, to lay your hands on a child like that. It’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for the victims. It’s heartbreaking because these young men are putting their careers on the line, their reputations, everything they worked for. It’s sad. I feel bad for everyone.”
The recent domestic violence cases in the league have made some wonder whether these issues are only known because of modern technology. Many believe incidents like the ones occurring lately have been happening for years throughout the league.
Said Harrison: “I think with the emergence of social media and cameras, there’s a chance of it getting out a lot more. Back when I played, when I first came into the league, things would happen and you would hear conversations in the locker room. Players would say certain things about what’s going on at home. Some guys would say, ‘Hey, man, you shouldn’t be in that situation. Hey, man, you should walk away.’ Obviously with the social media thing everything comes front and center with the public.”
Callahan was surprised Harrison did not have fiery comments regarding the NFL’s problems this week during the pregame show on “Sunday Night Football.”
“People want me to say something controversial, people want me to say something they can take and run with,” Harrison replied. “I’m a football analyst. Yes, I have to analyze certain situations that go on. And I’ve done that. I’ve talked about this. I just told the guys, ‘Hey, let’s just talk football. There are a lot of great things going on in the football world.’ ”
|Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘I do not believe [Roger Goodell] saw that videotape’||09.12.14 at 12:53 pm ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB to discuss NFL news and the Patriots’ Week 2 game against the Vikings. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Schefter reported Friday that the league and the players association are close on finalizing a new drug policy, and it could have a major affect on players currently under suspension, including standout wide receivers Josh Gordon and Wes Welker.
“Here’s the deal, basically: They’re going to vote this afternoon at some point, by early evening, on a new drug policy,” Schefter said. “The feeling is it’s going to pass. I think there’s a basic, tentative agreement. But each of the player reps will have to vote on it. And once that happens, they can coordinate the vote later today, they get the results, assuming it passes, there’ll be a new drug policy. And part of that agreement will be to have many of the suspensions under the performance-enhancing device policy, the PED policy and the substance-abuse policy, they will wind up being reduced or going away.
“So, everyone will be different, but a case like Wes Welker, I think he’ll be allowed to play. Now, it’s Friday, not in the game plan, tough to imagine he’s going to play this week, but maybe he does. A case like Josh Gordon, facing a yearlong suspension, my understanding is it’s going to be an eight-game suspension. So, there’ll be different circumstances in each player. We’ll have to find out how it affects each one.”
Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner is sitting out the first four games of the season, and Schefter isn’t sure how he’ll be affected.
“I think the violation may have occurred prior to the agreement, so I don’t know how he’s impacted,” Schefter said. “My guess — just a guess, and I haven’t asked anybody this — is that he won’t be impacted by it. But I don’t know it.”
|Pete Carroll on D&C: ‘My awareness is totally heightened’ regarding domestic violence||at 10:59 am ET|
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to discuss news from around the NFL, mainly the fallout from the Ray Rice/Roger Goodell situation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Carroll said earlier in the week that he was deeply affected by the Rice saga.
“I’m just speaking toward just coming to the point of understanding,” he said. “I’ve done some reading, I’ve done some research on it, the whole thing about domestic issues and stuff. My awareness is totally heightened to it, and sensitivity, and I just expressed that. A lot of people kind of seem like they keep saying they have all this opinion about it. Well, I didn’t know enough about it to understand it the way I do now. So I’m different about it. I’m looking at it differently. I’m more aware of the whole scene that follows and the relationship that follows so that you can understand how this happens and how you can be so surprised by individuals that are involved in those kinds of relationships.
“I’m hoping that my own direction of it and making my team aware of it we can all handle this thing better, and we will. Everybody’s going to look at it differently. It’s just become so apparent, and I just said it, that’s all.”
The Seahawks signed cornerback A.J. Jefferson in the offseason (he’s now on injured reserve) despite him having an arrest on his record for domestic assault.
“We did investigate his whole situation and his background and all that, and did what we thought was thoroughly,” Carroll said. “But maybe we would look differently, we would respond differently to understanding the depths of the issue so that we can anticipate how that was going to work out.
“One thing that we’ve got to [understand]: People have a chance to get better. And they have the opportunity to rehabilitate or turn their world around. I would like to think that we’re going to give people an opportunity if they’ve done the hard work and have come through and demonstrated that they can see things differently and they’re going to act differently.
“But I will never see it the same. That was my point.”
Asked if he would considering signing Rice a year from now, Carroll was noncommittal.
“It’s too hard of a question to answer,” he said. “I can’t answer that to you. Right now, no. We wouldn’t know how to find a place for him right now. But everybody gets a chance to get better. We’ll see what happens. I don’t even know what this all means in terms of the courts and all that kind of stuff. I don’t have that background to understand that kind of stuff. But we would be very, very slow to make a decision to take a guy [like that].”
|Report: Ray Rice told Roger Goodell in June that he hit Janay Palmer||09.11.14 at 9:53 pm ET|
The news keeps getting worse for Roger Goodell.
According to an ESPN “Outside the Lines” report Thursday, Ray Rice told the NFL commissioner in a meeting on June 16 that he punched his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in a casino elevator. OTL cited four sources that indicated Rice’s admission to Goodell in a disciplinary hearing.
If true, the assertion directly contradicts Goodell’s statement this week that “when we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened.”
Goodell made that claim Tuesday during an interview with CBS News, saying the latest video released by TMZ Sports about the incident was “inconsistent” with what the former Baltimore Ravens running back had told him.
But the four sources close to Rice say that during the disciplinary meeting in the commissioner’s office in New York on June 16, Rice made it clear to Goodell he had hit Janay Rice, then his fiancee, in the face inside a Revel Casino Hotel elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and had knocked her unconscious. Goodell and the Ravens insisted prior to the release of the TMZ elevator video released this week that they had no knowledge of what happened inside the elevator.
“Ray didn’t lie to the commissioner,” a source with knowledge of the meeting told “Outside the Lines.” “He told the full truth to Goodell — he made it clear he had hit her, and he told Goodell he was sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again.”
“He told the truth,” a second source said. “This is a public lynching of Ray.”
A third source with knowledge of Rice’s discussion with the commissioner told ESPN that “there was no ambiguity about what happened [in the elevator].” A fourth source also confirmed how the information was relayed at the meeting; however, a fifth source with knowledge of the meeting said Rice told Goodell he had “slapped” his fiancee.
|NFL announces ex-FBI chief will lead probe into league’s handling of Rice case||09.10.14 at 11:27 pm ET|
The NFL announced Wednesday night that former FBI director Robert Mueller will lead an independent investigation into the league’s handling of the Ray Rice case.
According to the NFL, Mueller’s investigation will be overseen by owners John Mara of the Giants and Art Rooney of the Steelers, and the final report will be made public. Commissioner Roger Goodell has pledged that Mueller will have the full cooperation of NFL personnel and access to all NFL records.
The announcement of the probe came less than 24 hours after a law enforcement official told The Associated Press that he sent a tape of Rice striking his then-fiancee at a casino to an NFL executive in April. That report runs contrary to statements from Goodell, who said no one at the league had seen the tape prior to Monday, when it went viral online via TMZ.
Mueller served as director of the FBI for 12 years (2001-13). He currently works as an attorney in Washington, D.C.
The NFL has launched several similar independent investigations in recent years, including the bullying scandal last year involving the Dolphins
For more football news, check out weei.com/patriots.
While the future of the embattled NFL commissioner is in doubt, over the years there’s no question as to where he’s stood with Patriots ownership.
Since Roger Goodell first assumed the job in August 2006, he’s always had a staunch ally in Patriots owner Robert Kraft. In the days after Goodell took the position, Kraft called Goodell’s ascension from NFL intern to commissioner “pretty special.”
“He is ready for this job,” Kraft told USA Today. “It’s nice to know, you give 25 years to an organization, you’re trained hard, you work hard and you wake up in the middle of the night worrying about things, and your dream comes true, sort of like me buying the Patriots. Roger becoming commissioner is pretty special.”
Despite the fact that Goodell popped Bill Belichick with a $500,000 fine and the Patriots $250,000 and a draft pick in the wake of the Spygate scandal just over a year later, Kraft and Goodell have never publicly been at odds. In fact, according to some accounts, with a possible labor stoppage looming, Kraft was one of the driving forces in awarding Goodell a new contract after four years on the job.
“We’re going into a major negotiation. It will be very difficult probably in many ways and we want to have someone who has his own views, who’s going to have to make some hard decisions that maybe some of us won’t like,” Kraft told The Associated Press in a 2010 telephone interview.
“But in the end, I think we’re confident that he and his team will do what’s for the best long-term interest of the league,” added the Patriots owner. “Having stability in our management team is critical.”
The nice words have been returned in kind on several occasions over the last few years. In a joint appearance at UMass-Lowell commencement in 2010 when the commissioner received an honorary degree, Goodell was effusive in his praise of Kraft.
“Robert Kraft has given this area and this region a lot to cheer for,” Goodell said, while adding he considered Kraft a “friend and mentor.”
The Ravens knew that a surveillance video of Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancee in a February incident in an Atlantic City casino existed and that Rice’s lawyer had a copy of the video, but the team never asked to see it, according to ABC News.
In addition, there’s considerable doubt being cast on the fact that commissioner Roger Goodell was unaware of the severity of the assault because a police report stated clearly Rice committed assault ‘by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious.”
Goodell has maintained all along that no one at the NFL witnessed the video of Rice’s punching his now-wife in the elevator until the video from the incident released this week by TMZ.com.
“We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. But we were never granted that opportunity,” Goodell said.
However, a story from the Associated Press Wednesday quoted a law-enforcement official as saying he sent the videotape of the incident to the league three months ago, and the league had simply failed to act, beyond giving Rice a two-game suspension.
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