MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When leadership was calling, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seemed to be missing in action. Goodell was saying very little publicly concerning the domestic violence case of Baltimore Raven star Ray Rice.
And when the child abuse indictment came down against Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson, Goodell had nothing to say.
But facing mounting criticism from many corners of the league, on Friday Goodell broke his silence.
“I got it wrong on a number of levels. From the process I led, to the decision that I reached,” said Goodell. “Now, I will get it right and do whatever is necessary to accomplish that.”
The NFL commissioner was speaking to a packed room of reporters in a New York hotel ballroom. Pressure intensified as some of the NFL’s most powerful corporate partners began withdrawing sponsorships and threatening to pull their support.
Goodell said the league will form new partnerships with domestic violence groups and assemble a panel of domestic and sexual violence experts to revise the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
But the question hitting home for Minnesota Vikings fans concerned one about suspended running back Adrian Peterson.
The reporter asked Goodell what a mother of two children who wear Adrian Peterson jerseys should tell her kids.
Goodell said as the father of two teenage girls he, too, is conflicted.
“While I’m disappointed in what Adrian Peterson was involved with, we want to see the facts. But I think what we’ve seen, it’s tragic and hard to look at,” he said.
Women’s and family violence groups have been lashing out at Goodell for what they see as a lax attitude on domestic violence cases.
While admitting mistakes, Goodell says he’s got the support of team owners and he is not thinking about stepping down. The commissioner told reporters he is only focused on making things right.
“I’m not satisfied with what we did, I let myself down, I let everybody else down and for that I’m sorry,” he said. “But that’s what we’re going to correct and that’s what we’re going to fix.”