Rozner: Goodell paradox continues to embarrass NFL
Roger Goodell is at it again.
The NFL chief takes few breaks from trying to prove he is as powerful as any god and as vindictive as any dictator.
But since he has no authority in PEDs suspensions anymore, having ceded such in the last drug-testing agreement, Goodell made certain to remain judge, jury and executioner in all other disciplinary matters.
And any time a player fails to kneel before Lord Goodell, he smites the disobedient with all manner of NFL plague.
Witness Tom Brady, who will sit four games because he would not stipulate to Goodell's imagination. The commissioner could not make the case and Brady embarrassed him. Thus, an arbitrary suspension for one of the NFL's best and most popular players.
So this is good for the league how exactly?
Now he is hunting down the likes of James Harrison, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, not because of a positive test -- which he has no jurisdiction over -- but instead because of an Al Jazeera report.
Since it's not a test, the commish can do anything he wants, and he wants to sit in judgment on these players. If they do not submit to all things Goodell, he can summarily smack them around.
Harrison, for one, has continually pushed back, last week calling Goodell "a crook," and hinting that he doesn't trust the process, knowing full well that Goodell can say and do anything he wants, as he did with Brady and Ray Rice, twisting words and misrepresenting statements.
"I wouldn't have a problem with it being filmed live," Harrison said last week. "I've been prosecuted and persecuted publicly in the media by them for something I didn't do.
"So I don't see why we couldn't have the media there and do a live interview. They can ask whatever questions they want and I can answer them. You all can see whatever evidence they say they got."
This is an interesting approach by Harrison, though you know Goodell will never agree.
Still, Harrison best tread lightly knowing that Goodell is capable of carrying a grudge and harshly punishing those who defy him.
And while Goodell parks this out front of the NFL offices for all to see, he tucks away in back and out of sight the Josh Brown domestic-violence suspension.
Brown got one game instead of the standard six and will be back kicking for New York in Week 2, the Giants reportedly having done no investigation of their own and preferring to re-sign him for two years and $4 million.
At least the Giants didn't pretend to care, which is what Goodell does in most of these cases. In Brown's he must have used the "possible mitigating or aggravating circumstances" loophole when he subtracted five from six.
In other words Brown's wife -- now his ex-wife -- must have deserved it when Brown was arrested in May 2015 for misdemeanor domestic violence in Washington state after an incident with his then-wife.
Charges were eventually dropped, but according to a New York Daily News investigation, Molly Brown told police on the day of the 2015 incident that Brown had assaulted her more than 20 times, and it began when she was pregnant with their daughter in 2009.
The transcript of Molly Brown's interview with police that day revealed that the 2015 incident was the second in as many days, and she called 911 because she was scared for her 16-year-old son, Josh Brown's stepson.
In 2013, Molly was granted a protection order against her husband -- later dropped when the two attended counseling -- when she said her husband threatened to kill her four or five times.
According to an ESPN report, Molly called police in nearly every city in which they lived while he has played in the NFL, and there are many more details about how frightened she and her children have become over the years.
The NFL's domestic-violence policy states that harsher discipline is in play if the victim is pregnant or children have also been assaulted.
Yet, Goodell has not explained why he went easy on Josh Brown, or why he didn't get the full six games.
Maybe he's too busy twisting his mustache and dreaming of ways to punish James Harrison.
• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.