Nora O’Donnell, the co-anchor with Charlie Rose on CBS’s “This Morning,” has already had her go at Commissioner Goodell. Watching her interview him about his knowledge of the security video showing the Baltimore running back Ray Rice punching his then fiancée (now wife) in an elevator, one notes that Ms. O’Donnell is wearing her game-face. This is serious stuff, that face is saying, as its owner, having dropped her fabulous frozen smile, digs to find points of contradiction in Mr. Goodell’s account of what he knew and when.
Two minutes later, of course, she and the heavy-breathing Mr. Rose, having shed seriousness, will be laughing at a bit of film about a baby panda trying to eat an ice-cream cone. This past Friday, at a news conference with Mr. Goodell, their media colleagues had an opportunity to exhibit their own impeccable virtue by asking one inane question after another, which Mr. Goodell fended off with equally empty answers. A sample question: Was he, Roger Goodell, himself ever guilty of domestic violence?
Should anyone be shocked at the irrefutable evidence of domestic violence in the NFL? Professional football players are men who make their living through violence, and for whom violence well executed has made millionaires of nearly all of them. The weekly paycheck during the NFL season of Adrian Peterson, now being excoriated for child abuse of his own children, is near $700,000. Violence is these players’ meat and drink. I once heard the Dallas Cowboys’ Emmitt Smith liken being a running back in the NFL to getting into 30 car accidents in the same afternoon—without, I assume, wearing a seat belt.