Either way, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t deserve to keep his gig.

If Goodell saw the TMZ.com video of Ray Rice knocking his future wife out with a left-cross to the face in a casino elevator before it was released on Monday, he should be fired.

And if Goodell didn’t see the video before handing down a paltry two-game suspension for Rice’s despicable violent actions, he should be fired.

Goodell has failed.

He’s failed Janay Rice, the victim. He failed all women when it comes to stopping domestic violence. He failed the owners who hired him. He failed the players. He failed the fans. He failed the NFL shield he supposedly was hired to protect.

The notion that Goodell, a smart man, did a thorough investigation into this very serious matter is complete nonsense.

He didn’t. He couldn’t have, otherwise TMZ would not have beaten him to the punch.

It’s impossible for Goodell to convince anyone that he did his due diligence. He couldn’t have handed down a penalty to Rice without seeing the videotape from the elevator.

It makes no sense.

Everyone saw the video of Rice dragging her out of the elevator like a caveman. Janay was obviously unconscious. She must have been hit or somehow hit her head.

And if there’s video outside the elevator, there’s a great chance there is video inside the elevator, especially in a billion dollar casino where security is of the utmost importance.

Goodell didn’t have to accept some feeble attempt to get the tape from prosecutors in Atlantic City, as the NFL PR machine is claiming.

The league had the nerve to play victim. “We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. The video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today,” the league said in a statement.

So the DEEP pocketed NFL couldn’t obtain the video, but TMZ.com was able to. And peeps shouldn’t care what the gossip website paid for it. The only thing that matters is that it existed and they acquired it.

Anybody with an ounce of sense knew there was a video to be had. Goodell knew. If he didn’t, he isn’t as smart as most think he is.

Even current and former players lashed out at Goodell’s handling of this sad situation. London Fletcher, a former NFL linebacker tweeted this. “@nflcommish to say you got that wrong is an understatement. Very disappointed in you. Wow…unbelievable.”

Plus, Goodell didn’t have to render a decision on Rice, now a former Baltimore Ravens running back, until he saw a tape he knew had to exist.

For anyone in NFL America to honestly believe that Goodell was shocked to see this video and was in the dark like everybody else is almost as sad as it is comical. The Commish thinks most people are dumb and only care that the NFL games are on Sundays and that’s all that matters.


Most were outraged by Goodell’s lame suspension to Rice, and most weren’t impressed when Goodell admitted to the world a few weeks ago he got it wrong and stiffened the penalties for domestic violence, including a lifetime ban for a second offense.

And shame on the Ravens, who finally took action against Rice, cutting him after seeing the video. The terrible thing is until Monday, they had taken no action against him except for a few live tweets during Rice’s press conference a few months ago. The team could have fined him, suspended him or cut him in wielding their own hammer of justice. Nope. The Ravens’ message was to just tweet and move along, there’s nothing to see, except training camp.

Some sick fans in Baltimore cheered Rice when he showed up at training camp, giving him a standing ovation.

Fans around the NFL should now be booing Goodell if they hadn’t before.

It’s not the first time he’s mishandled an important situation.

Goodell blew it in the New Orleans Saints Bountygate. He had to reduce some suspensions for not having enough evidence. Goodell also botched the New England Patriots’ scandal in 2007 that was dubbed Spygate. The Patriots were caught videotaping New York Jets’ defensive coaches’ signals during a game. Pats’ coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team lost its first-round pick.

In that case, Goodell had the tapes in question destroyed so no one could see them.

Here, perhaps, Goodell was hoping for the same thing — no one would see the disgusting, brutal beatdown by one of his players, so he would be able to move it along without further damage to the shield.

Nope. Goodell was caught, just like Rice.

Both shouldn’t be able to earn a living in the NFL.

Parker is a Detroit-based columnist for The Shadow League. You can also follow him on twitter @robparkerlocal4. This story originally appeared on TheShadowLeague.com, a website presenting sports coverage with a cultural perspective that insightfully informs sports fans worldwide.