NFL on CBS analyst Boomer Esiason thinks the criticism directed at Roger Goodell for not viewing the Ray Rice elevator video until this week is unfair.
“I hate the fact that people are going at him for not looking at this video,” Esiason told The Jim Rome Show. “I think Steve Bisciotti of the Ravens basically said it and said it right – we did not look at the video, we wanted to believe in Ray Rice, we know Ray Rice, we know the Ray Rice before this, we made a mistake by not going deeper and asking for that video and we were as startled as anyone else when we saw it. I know that’s how the commissioner felt.”
However, Esiason acknowledged the Commissioner mishandled the process from the start.
“He invited a victim of domestic violence in his office with her husband and that’s Janay Rice. He listened intently to her impassioned plea to spare her husband,” said Esiason. “Many people will you that was the wrong thing to do because of Janay Rice’s mental state at that point. I think he made a serious error, which he did fess up to, by the way.”
The former quarterback said Goodell doesn’t have the background to understand where a victim of domestic violence is coming from.
“Many people in the world of domestic violence from everything that I’ve read, the experts, people who have been through it, think that there’s a very good chance that Janay Rice could be in denial. [She] could be dealing [with post-traumatic stress] or could also be dealing with battered woman syndrome,” said Esiason. “You take all of that stuff into account and you realize that the commissioner doesn’t really have the capacity to sit there and really make a sound judgment when he listened to an impassionate plea from a victim in this case.”
Esiason believes this could be a learning experience for Goodell.
“I think we all think that these commissioners are all-knowing and all-seeing,” said Esiason. “Maybe there needs to be a little bit of a self-realization here for Roger Goodell, that maybe he was in over his head.”