Television personality Keith Olbermann called for the firing or resignation of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a pointed, angry takedown on his ESPN2 show. Olbermann focused on a graphic elevator video that shows running back Ray Rice brutally assaulting his then-fiancee Janay Palmer.
“Mr. Goodell is an enabler of men who beat women,” the outspoken host said Monday on “Olbermann.” “His position within the National Football League is no longer tenable.”
The commissioner was widely criticized for giving Rice just a two-game suspension after the initial video of the player dragging Palmer from an elevator was released. Goodell has since admitted that punishment was not harsh enough.
The cable host’s finger-pointing didn’t stop there. Olbermann accused numerous other league officials, the entire Baltimore Ravens organization — who terminated the running back’s contract earlier Monday — and local prosecutors tasked with making the case against the football star of dropping the ball.
“Intentionally or by neglect, the Atlantic County, N.J. District Attorney’s office, the Baltimore Ravens, the National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell have conducted a cover-up of Ray Rice’s brutal assault of his then fiance on February 15,” he said. “There is no other conclusion possible. Each body, each leading individual involved came to a judicial conclusion about what happened to Janay Palmer and what should happen to Ray Rice.
“And each, through deception or incompetence, misled the public, damaged the efforts of every man and every woman in this country seeking to merely slow down the murderous epidemic of domestic violence and made a mockery of the process by which those who batter those they claim to love are to be brought to justice.”
As TheWrap previously reported, the Ravens and the league took more stringent action after the second assault video was released Monday. The team cut him, and the league announced Rice would face an indefinite suspension in light of the “the new video evidence.”
But Olbermann insists the moves are either too little or too late.
“Not one of them,” he continued, “no matter what actions were taken today against Rice, nor what might be taken in the future, none of them have any remaining credibility and each must leave or be expelled from their current positions.
“It does not truly matter whether they had seen this video before today. The league, the team, the prosecutors either whitewashed Ray Rice’s brutal assault without ever having saw the video or they saw the video and whitewashed Rice’s brutal assault anyway,” he said.
That’s when Olbermann called for the commissioner’s resignation — reiterating his stance from last month. “Roger Goodell’s existence, who he is, what he has turned the NFL commissioner’s office into, is now symbolized by Ray Rice’s brutal left hand striking Janay Palmer and striking her again,” he said before calling Goodell an enabler of domestic violence.
Olbermann had harsh words for Rice, too.
“And I accuse Ray Rice of a brutal and potentially deadly assault, followed not by admission and contrition, but by a pious, self-serving, insincere, cynical devious, manipulative, unapologetic performance to protect his job and his money at the expense of the truth, at the expensive of the public, at the expensive of the next woman he brutalizes,” the sports commentator said. “He has already had his second chance; this new video shows he has already squandered it.”
“Ray Rice must never be allowed back in a National Football League uniform.”
Rice, who helped his team win Super Bowl XLVII, was handed a two-game suspension by the NFL in July for the domestic violence incident, which left his then-fiancee unconscious on the floor of an Atlantic City casino.
The three-time Pro Bowl player has since publicly apologized, as has his now-wife Janay, for what she called her “role in the incident.”
See the Olbermann clip above.