Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill Regarding the Ray Rice Appeal

Another day, another example of the NFL’s inconsistency and Commissioner Roger Goodell’s failed leadership.

Ray Rice has appealed his indefinite suspension, arguing he was punished twice for the same action, and claiming that the office of the NFL commissioner failed to treat his case fairly and impartially.

Indeed, the league’s response to domestic violence has been wildly inconsistent, with suspensions and other measures based on the level of public outcry, rather than any coherent set of guidelines.  Greg Hardy was convicted of domestic violence yet is still being paid by the Carolina Panthers.  Ray McDonald is still on the San Francisco 49ers roster after his arrest for injuries caused to his pregnant fiancée.  And nowhere, to our knowledge, has Roger Goodell spelled out a plan to keep victims safe, which should be his paramount concern.

The erratic and illogical system of ad hoc punishments is a paltry substitute for the leadership the NFL desperately needs right now.  Roger Goodell must resign, and his successor must be fully committed to real and lasting change. The NFL doesn’t have a Ray Rice problem; it has a domestic violence problem.

Contact: Elise Coletta,, (951) 547-1241