LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice is not the only one feeling the backlash of a video release of his physically abusive behavior to his then-fiance in an elevator — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is fealing the heat as well.
Goodell cancelled a planned public appearance that was to take place Wednesday night due to more criticism over the video scandal.
The commissioner maintains that no one in his office received a copy of the video, which was released Monday, even after an AP report claims a law enforcement official sent the video to the league as long ago as April.
Meanwhile, organizations such as the National Organization for Women is calling for Goodell to step down from his commissioner position.
“The only workable solution is for Roger Goodell to resign. New leadership must come in with a specific charge to transform the culture of violence against women that pervades the NFL,” NOW’s Terry O’Neill said.
Goodell has stated that he will not step down, even after allegations that he had seen the Ray Rice video tape months before he said he, or anyone, did.
The video shows Rice punching his then-fiance and current wife, Janay Rice, in the face, knocking her unconscious. The NFL initially responded with a two-game suspension following news of the incident. After the video’s public release, however, the NFL decided to suspend Rice indefinitely, after the Baltimore Ravens dropped him from the team.
In the report, AP says it heard a voicemail from an NFL number, allegedly confirming receipt of the video on April 9, with an NFL member stating, “You’re right. It’s terrible.”
Goodell and the NFL, meanwhile, continue to deny that anyone in the league saw the video until September 8, as he maintained to CBS This Morning‘s Nora O’Donnell.
“We were told that (the video) was not something we would have access to, and on multiple occasions we asked for it,” Goodell said. “And on multiple occasions, we were told ‘no’.”
Goodell went on to admit that the NFL has issues when it comes to domestic violence, and that the league is working on the problem.
It was reported on Wednesday night that former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III will launch an investigation into how Goodell and the league handled the evidence.
New York Giants owner John Mara and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney were expected to oversee the investigation.
“Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III will conduct an independent investigation into the NFL’s pursuit and handling of evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence incident,” the NFL said in a statement.
Mueller said that the results will be made public.