It is about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
As background, back in February, video of Ray Rice surfaced wherein he is pulling his unconscious fiancé (now wife – don’t get me started on that) out of an elevator AFTER HITTING HER. Over the past several months, NFL fans, the Baltimore Ravens and the community-at-large have eagerly waited to hear Goodell’s punishment.
A few weeks ago, while claiming they never were able to get their hands on video of the actual in-elevator assault (she was unconscious – couldn’t you GUESS what it looked like?), Goodell and the NFL announced Rice would serve a two-game suspension.
As you can imagine, the world – even Ravens fans – collectively lost their minds at the joke of a suspension, many calling for the Ravens to take further action.
As such, Goodell responded by putting into place a new policy for domestic abuse. Click here to take a look.
Obviously, he hoped that conversations would eventually turn to the new NFL season, which started in earnest on Sunday, and all of this would be behind him.
But then, on Monday, TMZ blew his little crisis communications plan out of the water by not only locating the in-elevator video, but making it available on its website for the world to see – and link to.
By 10 a.m. yesterday, more than 100,000 people tweeted about it – many (including me) calling for Goodell’s head. (I mean, what did he think happened in that elevator to make a woman fall unconscious???)
With video evidence, the Ravens cut the star player by lunch. Goodell and the NFL, being called upon to ban him for life, extended his suspension. Sheesh.
This is bigger than a PR problem for the NFL – this is an organizational issue starting at the top. At this point, there is no magic crisis plan, nor is there a PR plan strong enough to combat poor leadership.
With the NBA enjoying the continued positive PR from new Commissioner Adam Silver’s swift movement on the Donald Sterling issue, and MLB preparing to usher in its new commissioner at season’s end, the NFL has a laughing stock in its top spot.
But for how long? Will Goodell survive the backlash coming his way?