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Futures of Peterson, Rice And Goodell Uncertain02:12
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In off-field NFL news this week, Adrian Peterson achieved closure of a sort with his plea agreement to a misdemeanor assault charge after he'd whipped his 4-year-old son with a tree branch.

The specter of a selectively forgetful or dishonest CEO in charge of their money machine may reawaken doubts in an owner or two.

Bill Littlefield

Probably of more immediate concern to the commissioner is some of the testimony that apparently occurred this week when former U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones was inquiring into the matter of whether Ray Rice, late of the Baltimore Ravens, had been inappropriately penalized by Goodell. Rice has maintained that he's been punished twice for the same crime, since Goodell was aware that Rice had punched Janay Palmer before he saw a video tape of that assault.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome reportedly told Judge Jones that he heard Rice acknowledge that he punched Palmer during a hearing on June 16. Commissioner Goodell has said that what Rice told him before the video tape emerged was "vague." Not according to Newsome, and perhaps not according to others.

That development would seem to call into question the commissioner's memory, or his integrity, or both. Though the howling for Goodell's resignation faded to a few lonely whispers once actual football distracted almost everybody from such concerns as crime and punishment, the specter of a selectively forgetful or dishonest CEO in charge of their money machine may reawaken doubts in an owner or two.

The futures of both Peterson, who has a team that wishes to re-employ him, and Rice, who does not, will unfold in the fullness of time. In the aftermath of those developments and whatever consequences accompany them, perhaps we can hope that some number of pro athletes will be less inclined to punch their partners or beat their children with sticks.

This segment aired on November 8, 2014.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.

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