Few Have Confidence In Roger Goodell Dealing With Player Misconduct

    There was no decision on Labor Day about  Ezekiel Elliotts appeal.

    Whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodells six-game ban for violating the personal conduct policy (stemming from domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend) will stand or be reduced, could come down as soon as Tuesday.

    The NFL season starts Thursday.

    On Aug. 11, the league dropped the hammer on Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys star running back. His suspension is the longest domestic violence penalty the league has ever levied.

    Elliott took action against the league witha lawsuit to block the suspension even before the appeal process.

    During the three-day hearing during the appeal, his defense offered information to sayhe is being railroaded and did not commit the acts hes accused of.

    Josina Anderson on Twitter

    Source familiar w/ Ezekiel Elliott case: “Ezekiel should never agree to compromise on something he didn’t do. Trust me more will come out.

    On the surface, its the usual business, especially in a he-said, she-said situation. But, here as in previous cases, the NFL just appears to be sloppy in doing these type of investigations. Somehow, they are never airtight, buttoned up where youre convinced they have all the goods.

    In no way are we saying Elliott is innocent. The same goes for knowing his absolute guilt. Thats the problem.

    ESPN is even reporting that most in the league expect Elliotts suspension to be reduced.

    Thats just doesnt make sense, either. Why hand down such a penalty just to reduce it after the fact? 

    When the NFL takes these real steps to clean up its sport, most hope the league has done its due diligence and handed down a fair and honest suspension.

    Unfortunately, there always seem to be questions and doubts about Goodells rulings.

    Marcus Mosher on Twitter

    Again… No matter where you stand on Ezekiel Elliott… this is disastrous for the NFL. People are going to lose their jobs over this.

    Too often, the commish has to backtrack, reduce penalties and sometimes, even wind up with egg on his face.

    The NFL should be better than that, especially with all its resources and manpower. Instead, often, it comes across as the league is run like a mom and pop store on Park Avenue.

    If you want to give Goodell an A for helping the league make money, go ahead (even though most couldnt mess up the league making money if they tried).

    But when it comes to making the league look good in the public in headline-grabbing cases that clearly affect its image, Goodell gets an F.

    In these cases, Goodell come across as the worst commissioner in the four major sports. He has swung and missed, and missed big tackles with regularity. Shame on him.

    Heres a list of just some of the cases that Goodell has either mishandled or botched. There isnt enough space on the internet to list them all. 

    1. Spygate.

    2. Bountygate

    3. Ray Rice

    4. Deflategate

    5. Greg Hardy

    6. Josh Brown

    Some are convinced that Elliotts case will eventually be added to this list. The NFL will come out as the loser in another high-profile case that has NFL fans talking about this rather than football.

    And while fans might not care about the actual outcome, the advertisers do. 

    Companies will pull money from the league if they dont want their products or services attached to the National Felony League.

    Almost as worse than the actual trouble players continue to get into is the way Goodell has handled it.

    The players union made a huge mistake when it gave Goodell ultimate power, allowing him to be judge, jury and executioner. Plus, Goodell can hear the appeals. Crazy dumb.

    Guerilla Blaq on Twitter

    Ezekiel Elliott bout to spin out of that 6 game suspension like: #FreeZeke https://t.co/fU3CrbKDAY

    Its hard to have confidence in Goodell, especially when details come out about how the league conducts investigations and how it hands out penalties.

    In 11 of the 13 domestic violence cases, Goodell has backtracked and reduced the initial bans with less time.

    That makes no sense.

    For sure, many will watch this one very closely. Elliott claims theres a conspiracy against him.

    Some think the NFL is using the high-profile Elliott to make an example of him.

    Maybe, he is guilty and simply should be punished for behavior that shouldnt be tolerated in society – even by a star football player.

    Either way, Goodell and his commissionership will be judged, too. At some point, he has to get it right and police his players correctly or get out of that business and allow a law professional to do the job right.

    Rob Parker is a columnist for The Shadow League. He is also an analyst for Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles. He co-hosts The Odd Couple on Fox Sports Radio and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.