Goodell's challenge, like Giamatti's, is to protect his league while also protecting the sacred trust of his fans. Thus far, he has not shown he's been able to do that.
In the worst public relations disaster since the U.S. Navy's Tailhook scandal or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's Bridgegate, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell have embarrassed the league in less than a week. They have become the face of domestic violence.
With the power and popularity of football as its leverage, the NFL must take a leadership role and set the standard by having what would be considered the strongest enforcement policy on abuse, anywhere.
Rage has no brain. Rage doesn't stop to think about consequences. Rage acts first and thinks later. It cannot be "treated" punitively.
We should not give this kind of assault a special name and put it in a special category that ultimately belittles it, fails to protect society, and robs victims of justice. By calling it "domestic assault," as we have for so long, we put a white picket fence around it and in some weird way prettify it. Which is utterly inexcusable.
There's a lot of chatter online as women share their stories of abuse. Some people in the conversation who are critical of Janay for staying in her marriage with her abuser claim that we are victim-blaming her and not being supportive or understanding of another couple's marriage.
The NFL needs not only to punish players who engage in domestic violence. It also needs to educate all its players about this issue.
Today, the world is a much different place than it was then, in my college days, and women no longer need to endure such treatment from their partners. There are resources and programs available that can help the one in three women who are experiencing domestic violence.
Often times when there are debates about sexism in the Black community, male counterparts ask, "What privileges do Black men have?" In case you're still wondering, this is what Black male privilege looks like.
Millions of women, including myself, across the country are shocked and enraged that it took an elevator surveillance video and the resulting media response to draw attention to domestic violence.
Even a little while ago, the Ravens website had posted a comment attributed to Janay Rice that she was basically sorry for her part in the altercation between the two of them. This may indeed be true, as the longer-length footage shows them trading insults and Janay apparently spitting on Ray. I can only ask: So?
It is my hope that the public outcry, tremendous media attention and discussions will not fade once the spotlights are turned off, but will lead to greater public awareness and prevention to proactively address domestic violence.
Can you believe in women's rights and enjoy football? Can you be angry about Ray Rice and the NFL's inadequate handling of him but still feel okay about watching the game? The answer, to both, is no.
If you don't understand how Ray Rice was allowed to initially escape prosecution, accepting a much lesser punishment of therapy from the court, nothing illustrates the culture of protecting the abusers of women better than Republican Ben Carson's statement on behalf of Ray Rice.
Where is the outcry from our leading domestic violence organizations in the wake of the latest Ray Rice elevator video, wherein he punches his fiance in the face?
It seems that we can only count on the National Football League and it's teams to do the right thing when there are no more lies to hide behind. The money they make and the appearances that they try so hard to keep up are their main focus.