Ray Rice Fallout Continues As Rihanna, NOW Slam NFL
The Ray Rice / NFL saga continues.
As the league continues to face criticism for its handling of the situation, the latest moves by the NFL and one of its media partners have been sharply criticized by a leading women's group and one of the world's most popular musical performers.
A new plan to address domestic violence issues in the league is getting mixed reviews. On Monday, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all NFL teams detailing a plan to put four women in charge of the league's revised domestic abuse policies.
Current NFL executive Anna Isaacson will take over the newly created post of vice president of social responsibility. She had worked on community relations in her previous job with the league.
Goodell also hired three outside consultants:
- Lisa Friel - former head of the New York County District Attorney's Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit
- Jane Randel - co-founder of the domestic violence awareness group No More.
- Rita Smith - former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The league has been widely accused of mishandling the Rice case — from Goodell's initial two-game suspension of Rice to questions about who at the NFL had seen video of Rice punching his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator in February before the footage was released last week.
The National Organization for Women, which has called for Goodell to step down using the Twitter hashtag #ResignGoodell, called the league's plan a "step in the right direction." But in a written statement, NOW President Terry O'Neill said the moves don't go far enough.
"The fact that Roger Goodell is assigning a current member of his leadership team to oversee new policies shows once again that he just doesn’t get it. NOW continues to insist on the appointment of an independent investigator with a mandate to address every aspect of the NFL’s violence against women problem, going back years, not months."
Meanwhile, pop superstar Rihanna blasted CBS on her Twitter account after the TV network dropped the Jay Z / Rihanna song "Run This Town" from the opening to its Thursday Night Football broadcast of the Ravens-Steelers matchup.
Rihanna was a victim of domestic violence in 2009. The lyrics featured in the song may also have played a role in the network's decision.
"Feel it comin’ in the air. Hear the screams from everywhere. I’m addicted to the thrill. It’s a dangerous love affair."
The decision by CBS prompted a heated response from Rihanna on Twitter (NOTE: The *** are ours. Rihanna spelled the word out in her original tweet.):
"CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, F*** you! Y'all are sad for penalizing me for this."
She added in another tweet:
— Rihanna (@rihanna) September 16, 2014
The first tweet prompted CBS to announce it would drop the song from all of its Thursday Night Football broadcasts this season.