|By John Dudley, Erie Times-News, Pa.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
That's fair, considering
Up until now, though, that argument had only a moral basis, not a procedural one, since the
What Goodell did this week was right a wrong and admit a mistake in the way he handled Rice's suspension. For a man with a pretty big ego, that's something.
Violent offenders will now receive an automatic six-game suspension for a first offense and banishment for a second. It's a tough policy. It's overdue.
But it's important to remember why Goodell found himself in the awkward position of defending himself against women's advocacy groups in the first place after meting out what was, in their view, a comparatively light punishment to a violent offender while coming down hard on a habitual pothead.
As much as the
Yes, pro football is by now an American institution so ingrained into the Sunday afternoon (and Monday and Thursday night) routines of millions of viewers that they plan entire weeks around viewing or attending games.
But it's also a business whose lifeblood is those fans and, to an increasing extent, its corporate sponsors.
And, as we all know thanks to
These aren't gritty, cutting-edge startups looking to carve a niche in a bad-boy market. They're among the most mainstream, most recognizable names in business today, and they don't want habitual drug users and thugs acting as de facto pitchmen.
Until now, though, the
We know that neither Goodell nor anyone else in the
Not anymore, thankfully.
If his tenure ended tomorrow, Goodell would go down as one of the most progressive -- and most polarizing -- commissioners in major professional sports history. (He has, after all, changed hitting in football forever, like it or not.)
To his credit, he fixed a problem this week, and regardless of how you feel about that within the context of his overall body of work, it deserves our applause.
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