In what was obvious to everyone else immediately after it was announced, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted in a letter to the NFL owners that he got the Ray Rice suspension wrong.
Goodell takes full responsibilty for the leniet punishment for domestic violence against his soon to be wife:
Roger Goodell’s letter to NFL owners on domestic violence | ProFootballTalk
At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals. We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence. We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place. My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.
Wow...a moment of clarity from Goodell. I have to give him props for admitting a mistake, it's not something he is used to doing. It would still be nice to hear him say it front of the cameras but I guess in writing might be the best we get.
So what does this mean for Panther DE Greg Hardy?
It does not bode well. Don't assume that since Hardy has already been found guilty that the rule cannot be applied retroactively or that Goodell may use the appeal and subsequent jury trial as an opportunity to use Hardy as an example. There is a good chance a jury acquits Hardy but its not a lock as some have suggested.
Regardless of how the trial goes for Hardy the result won't impact the Panthers. The trial most likely won't happen until the summer.If Hardy gets suspended it will be his next team that takes the hit as I don't think the Panthers will re-sign him, in my opinion anyway.
Meanwhile I expect Hardy to have a monster year in order to convince another team his will be worth the gamble of a large contract. That's my silver lining in this whole fiasco. The worst case scenario is Goodell now decides to take action on Hardy which would cause an immediate uproar from the Player's Union. I find that unlikely though since it would go against conventional wisdom. So what do you think will happen.
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