Ray Rice news has dominated the sports media world today, with obvious reasons. The second video, the outrage, the cutting by the Ravens, the suspension by the NFL has capture our collective attention today.
As I read the coverage and the stream on Twitter, one question* has been gnawing at me all day.
(*One question aside from "How could any man strike a woman like that?" Let's take it as read that that's the most important question here).
Why did the NFL, the most well-oiled of well-oiled public relations machines, botch this so badly?
Why did the NFL apparently lie, or at the least misdirect, reporters back in July?
Of all the numerous issues facing the NFL - concussions, player safety, PED use - why is this one the league is blowing so badly?
Why would Roger Goodell, who has made his bones as a law-and-order leader, essentially go to the mattresses over the Ravens and Ray Rice - who by no means was the face of the league or even of his team? What incentive did/does the NFL have in trying to basically bury this story or treat Rice with such kid gloves?
Is it misogyny? Is it a fundamental misunderstanding of domestic violence (reporting seemed to indicate that the league was persuaded by Rice's now wife's defense of him)? Is it that they weren't prepared for the existence of not one but two incriminating videos?
The NFL is the most successful sports league in the U.S., arguably the world. The people who run it aren't stupid. They don't act randomly. They act in their best interest. They act when they have an incentive to.
So why did they botch this so badly?