President Obama Criticizes NFL's Handling of Ray Rice Case

President Obama, Roger Goodell, NFL

President Obama Criticizes NFL's Handling of Ray Rice Case

Commander-in-chief says league was "behind the curve."

Published December 12, 2014

As a special guest on ESPN's "The Herd With Colin Cowherd" radio show Friday morning, President Obama tackled a bunch of hot-button sports topics, including the NFL's handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.

In assessing the situation, the president doesn't think the NFL and league commissioner Roger Goodell did such a good job. 

"The way it was handled, also indicates that the NFL was behind the curve…in sending a clear message," President Obama said. "You don’t want to be winging it when something like this takes place."

Goodell initially suspended Rice two games for violating the league's personal conduct policy in July, stemming from the domestic violence incident with his then-fiancee. But when footage of the former Baltimore Ravens running back punching Janay Rice and knocking her unconscious surfaced in September, the league suspended him indefinitely. Just last month, Rice won his appeal and has been reinstated to the NFL. 

“There have been some blind spots that are not just rooted in professional football but dating back in college football," President Obama added. "Certain behaviors have been tolerated historically that really should not have been tolerated. Hopefully this is a wake-up call and people think about this more systematically.”

While he criticized the NFL, President Obama did salute LeBron James and other athletes for taking stands on pressing social/political news stories, but still likes his hometown Chicago Bulls over King James's Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA's Eastern Conference this season.

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(Photos from left: REUTERS/Larry Downing, Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Written by BET-Staff


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