As I’ve often said in this space, I was never a fan of Keith Olbermann as a political commentator. I loved his work on SportsCenter in the 90s and believed he was a phenomenally talented broadcaster, but disliked the over-the-top nature of his political show. But since returning to ESPN and sports with his nightly show “Olbermann” the man has found his fastball again. And Monday night’s first segment was yet another example of him at his best.
Olbermann opened the show discussing the newly-released video of Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee twice, now-wife in an elevator. He then absolutely eviscerates everyone involved in the case, from the prosecutor, to the judge to the Baltimore Ravens. But when he turned his attention to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, things really got cooking.
The video is above and everyone should watch it, but the money quote for me follows:
Commissioner Goodell, as I first said on this program on Aug. 1, must resign.
If he will not do so, NFL owners must fire him, and fire senior vice president Birch, and chief counsel Pasch. Pasch, of all people, should’ve known better than to put the victim on trial and acquit without evidence,
Mr. Goodell’s ineptitude has not merely rendered this football season meaningless and irrelevant by contrast, it has not only reduced supporting or watching football to a distasteful, even a disrespectful act, but most importantly it has comforted the violent and afflicted the victim.
His push to increase NFL punishment of domestic abusers to roughly that one-third that of repeat pot smokers, his decision today to suspend Rice indefinitely, after the Ravens had fired him, are elements of classic tragedy, wherein the right thing is finally done only after it’s too late to matter.
Roger Goodell’s existence, who he is, what he has turned The NFL commissioner’s office into, is now symbolized by Ray Rice’s brutal left hand striking Janay Palmer and striking her again. Mr. Goodell is an enabler of men who beat women.
His position within the National Football League is no longer tenable.
Boom, roasted. Olbermann is 100 percent correct here. Goodell has finally stepped on a land mine so powerful as to blow himself from relevance. His tenure is now a bad joke and he must step down for the good of the sport.