CANTON, Ohio – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the league Friday against criticism that it was too lenient in suspending Ray Rice two games for his horrible mistake.
We just can’t make up the discipline, Goodell said. It has to be consistent with other cases. And it was in this matter.
Goodell stressed that the Baltimore Ravens’ running back has assumed responsibility for his conduct, has no history of assault and is following a court order to enter a diversionary program after his domestic violence arrest.
We’ve dealt with it in a serious manner, and we’re very confident that this young man understands where he is and what he needs to do going forward, Goodell said. I think what’s important here is Ray has taken responsibility for this. He’s been accountable for his actions. He recognizes he made a horrible mistake that is unacceptable by his standards, by our standards. And he’s got to work to re-establish himself.
Goodell spoke a day before the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It was his first opportunity to answer questions regarding Rice since the league disciplined him July 24.
A day earlier, Rice apologized at training camp in his first comments since the suspension. He called his actions totally inexcusable and acknowledged that he must live with this for the rest of his life.
Browns’ Gordon appeals drug ban
As his teammates sweated through another training camp practice, Josh Gordon was in a New York office building where his career – and Cleveland’s season – were in jeopardy.
Gordon met Friday with NFL officials to appeal a possible indefinite suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Gordon’s attorney, Maurice Suh, and other members of his legal team were expected to argue that Gordon tested positive for marijuana because of secondhand smoke, a defense they planned to augment with witnesses.
No decision on Gordon is expected for several days, and the Browns are keeping their fingers crossed that the outcome will be favorable.
Around the league
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks. The 26-year-old Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter in a 2012 crash that killed Jerry Brown, a Cowboys practice squad player. An attorney for former NFL running back Larry Johnson says the player’s Las Vegas domestic violence case is now closed after a judge determined he successfully completed community service and counseling requirements.