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Goodell Speaks, Apologizing For Handling Of Ray Rice And Saying The NFL Will Do Better

By Christy Strawser, CBS Detroit

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell broke his long silence after the Ray Rice scandal rocked the league, apologizing for his handling of the matter and saying "we have seen too much of the NFL doing wrong."

"The same mistakes can never be repeated," he said, adding, "We will get our house in order first."

Goodell said teams and league staff will join education sessions about domestic violence starting in the next month. The programs will be "developed by a top group of experts," he said.

He added the league realizes that domestic violence "affects all of us" across a spectrum of race and class. "We can act and we will do more," he said, adding the league will partner with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and a sex abuse hotline.

There will also be changes to the personal conduct policy, he said, adding "nothing is off the table." The goal will be to complete changes to the policy by the Super Bowl.

This press conference stems from the furor that erupted when a gossip website obtained elevator video showing Rice cold cocking his then-fiancee in the face, knocking her out cold. He dragged her body down the hall and to their room. Rice had been suspended two games in July before the full video surfaced; when it was revealed, he was cut from the Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the league.

Many wondered why the NFL hadn't seen the video, or if they had seen it and just failed to react strongly enough. Asked about the video specifically, Goodell said his security department worked with law enforcement and requested the video several times. He said they're "looking into" what happened.

On the question of whether "ignorance is an excuse," Goodell seemed evasive. "We'd better get our house in order," he said.

Goodell's press conference got under way 17 minutes late, irking many who were waiting on pins and needles to hear what he was going to say.

"It's amazing, they can start the game on time ... What's the issue? It's like when school starts, you know what time math is," Valenti said.

He added there was something "delicious "about Goodell being late for his own mea culpa.

"My expectation, gun to my head ..." was that Goodell would be arrogant and secretive, Valenti said, adding "This is the darkest two weeks in league history."

Valenti went on to say, as the conference wrapped up: "What an absolute joke."



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