At the heart of the ESPN story is that Ray Rice and his wife claim to have told the commissioner the severity of the incident. Goodell has based his squirming apology that he didn't know the degree of what happened until he saw the video. ESPN's entire broadcast slanted towards the Rice family being the side of truth.
So, ESPN didn't suspend him for calling Goodell a liar. The station already reported that. No, it's the vehement swearing and also daring anyone at ESPN to suspend him. He messed with city hall and got burned. I don't know if he was tired of working there or really feels the need to make a stand. I don't know the man. However, he must have known ESPN wouldn't like his tirade. It's a 15 Billion dollar contract.
Yes, ESPN has done a lot of PR work stories on the Ray Rice incident. Most of it has been to save face and also distract from the many black eyes the network itself has suffered in the last six months, Stephen A. Smith being a shining example. (Look it up, it's fun- Suspended for victim-blaming after Ray Rice attacked his then girlfriend).
However, ESPN itself has been silent. Not a word about the abusive, destructive league it covers. Not one word to stand for victims of domestic violence. Employees of the station - from Hannah Storm's impassioned testimony to Cris Carter's emotional denouncement of Adrian Peterson have tried to fill the void. However, ESPN just wants to get back to the business of airing football games. Nobody there gives a shit about the problem.
What station could better address violence against women? The great majority of violence against women is committed by men. A significant percentage of men in America watch ESPN. Imagine how much change ESPN could inspire if it turned itself into an advocate?
You ask, why would they? Or even, it's not their responsibility. They are there to make money.
Oh, I hear you. Please allow a retort.
If for no better reason THAN money, ESPN should lead. Women are increasingly spending MORE money on sports. If for nothing other than constant PR to women that it's safe to attend games and buy jerseys, the channel should play a video teaching about domestic violence often on its channels.
However, imagine if the NFL and ESPN actually took a real stand. And helped make the world safer for women by using real resources (not the window dressing Goodell talked of in his Friday afternoon press-conference) to fight domestic abuse. Women spend some 45% of the money on the NFL and climbing. The more steps these two dominant sports behemoths take on behalf of women, the more profitable each will be. It doesn't take a genius to see that women will continue to rise in this society.
It will be a slow rise at times, perhaps. Maybe there will be steps backward at other times. However, women will have more power in America in twenty years. I'm stating the obvious and hence take zero credit for pointing it out except to say: how can't the NFL and ESPN see this? FOR greed alone they should stand for women. It will increase their bottom line. And I know THAT'S the only thing the NFL or ESPN respect.