Roger Goodell Faces Difficult Decision in Ray Rice Case

Roger Goodell is expected to testify during Ray Rice's appeal hearing. (Photo: Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports)
Roger Goodell is expected to testify during Ray Rice’s appeal hearing.
(Photo: Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports)

Roger Goodell has a difficult decision to make.

Facing a call to the witness stand this week in Ray Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension, the NFL commissioner has two choices:

— Make a deal with Rice and reduce the running back’s penalty for punching his wife in February.

— Or proceed to an independent arbitrator’s hearing on Rice’s appeal, where Goodell will face a grilling from a longtime NFL nemeis, famed sports labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler.

If he testifies, Goodell risks having inconsistencies found in his version of events related to the infamous elevator video: What did he know about it and when? He also risks becoming subject to an interrogation by Kessler, who has made a life’s work out of challenging sports overlords on behalf of players.

“He’ll try to go after Goodell on the question of what did Goodell know and when did he know it?” said Daniel Lazaroff, director of the Loyola Sports Law Institute in Los Angeles “Did he have all the facts initially when he handed down the two-game suspension or not know until later? Goodell will be testifying under oath. They will try to trip him up and catch him in some inconsistencies.”

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Source: USA Today | Brent Schrotenboer

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