Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Goodell at Masters when Rice video arrived

Please don't bother Roger Goodell with your unfounded claims that he ignored the Ray Rice video. He was at Augusta National at the time, wearing a green blazer and possibly debating the merits of the pimento cheese sandwiches.

Here, you see a photo of Goodell attending a practice round for the Masters on Wednesday April 9, the day the Associated Press reports a copy of the elevator security tape showing Rice punching his wife was delivered to the NFL's offices in New York.

Goodell had recently become a member of the Augusta National Golf Club. Either that or he has really poor taste in sports jackets.

Now, as Yahoo's Jay Busbee points out, "When you're headed out of town on vacation, the mail can pile up."

So, you know, things can get misplaced.

But seriously . . .

I'd like to believe former FBI director Robert Mueller III, who is heading the NFL's "investigation" into Goodell's claims that the league never saw and/or wasn't able to obtain the Rice video before pronouncing judgement, has enough credibility to ignore this relative trivial matter.

It would be bad for Goodell to go with, "The Pimento Cheese Defense."

"But your honor. I've heard so much about the pimento cheese sandwiches at Augusta National, I lost my mind and completely forgot about the video."

Goodell maintains he has no knowledge of anybody in the NFL office having seen the video. The AP reports that a 12-second voicemail from a league office number on April 9 confirmed the video had arrived from an undisclosed law enforcement official.

I'm no judge but that would seem like pretty solid evidence.

Now Goodell is facing questions from members of Congress -- and before you shout that Washington should stay out of this, the stature of this domestic violence case and the potential of a coverup by the head of a $9 billion league warrants pressure from D.C.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Wednesday night that news reports suggest a "burgeoning, insurmountable credibility gap" regarding statements by Goodell.

"If these reports are true, commissioner Goodell must go, for the good of the NFL and its fans. The current leadership of the NFL cannot be trusted to fairly, genuinely implement policies that address domestic violence."

Blumenthal is right. And Goodell is nowhere near Amen Corner now.

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.