Earlier today, Giants owner John Mara and Steelers owner Art Rooney III issued a joint statement on the upcoming independent investigation into the Ray Rice incident and how it was later dealt with. Adam Schefter of ESPN (via Facebook) has republished the statement in full. There has been some criticism towards the NFL for Mara and Rooney’s role in the investigation since they have been longtime Goodell supporters. In the statement, the duo asserts that their only mission is to do what’s right. “Our sole motive here is to get the truth and then share Mr. Mueller’s findings with the public,” the statement reads. Here’s more on the NFL’s biggest story..
- The investigation is already underway, tweets Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
- Goodell didn’t pursue the incident as vigorously as he might have out of respect for Rice’s now-wife, Janay, one owner tells Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal. According to the source, Goodell privately told other owners that Janay Rice told him she had struck Ray Rice and that she believed she was partly at fault for the incident. Goodell also said he left the meeting believing that Janay had become unconscious because she had fallen during the scuffle.
- Goodell has strong support among influential ownership groups and barring overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing, that’s unlikely to change, writes Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. “They’re standing by him, across the board,” said one league source who has spoken to executives on several clubs about the ongoing matter. “You haven’t seen one owner come out questioning him. Their instinct is to defend him, and it’s going to take quite a bit to change that.”
- Mark Maske of the Washington Post hears that the owners are prepared to boot Goodell if the investigation shows egregious misconduct. Still, Maske heard a great deal of support for Goodell and his body of work aside from this recent controversy.
- At least one owner isn’t sure the NFL commish will survive the saga, writes Peter King of The MMQB. “I am starting to get a sick feeling about how out of control this is getting,” one owner said, “But, I am standing by Roger. He has been great for our league.”
- One owner tells Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report that while he trusts Goodell, he feels that no owner will support him if he is obfuscating in any way.
- Bears chairman George H. McCaskey issued a statement today that strongly backed Goodell, as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. McCaskey called the commissioner “a man of integrity” even though many have been critical of him in the last week.
- Jason Cole (on Twitter) is skeptical and does not see this investigation as being truly independent.