ESPN's Stephen A. Smith melts down over demands Roger Goodell resign amidst Ray Rice controversy
By RYAN GORMAN
The National Organization for Women's call for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to resign in the wake of the league's apparent bungling of the Ray Rice investigation is not sitting well with at least one prominent media personality.
NOW released a statement Wednesday afternoon demanding Goodell step down because of his "failed leadership" in handling the NFL's "violence against women problem."
Steven A. Smith angrily disagreed with the statement during a segment on ESPN's "First Take," at times shouting over co-hosts including the normally caustic Skip Bayless and even refusing to simmer down when told the show was ending.
The women's advocacy group cited multiple instances and accusations of sexual assault involving players and even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones before demanding Goodell vacate the NFL's Park Avenue offices.
"The NFL sets the example for college, high school, middle school and even elementary school football programs – the example currently being set by the NFL is simply unacceptable," said the NOW statement.
"[NOW demands] that you [Goodell] resign from you position as commissioner of the NFL and that your successor appoint an independent investigator" to handle similar complaints in the future.
The organization called Goodell resigning "the only way to restore honor and integrity to the country's most lucrative and popular pastime."
Smith was practically foaming at the mouth by the time he found himself in front of a camera.
Co-host Skip Bayless, normally no stranger to controversy himself, agreed with NOW in that it might be time for the "Ginger Hammer" to resign, but Smith shouted everyone down.
"I think this woman is off her rocker. I think she's lost her mind," Smith said. "That's right, I said it. This is the most ridiculous nonsense I've ever heard in my life
"Roger Goodell deserves to lose his job?" Smith continued. "Why are you acting like he's Ray Rice? Roger Goodell didn't hit Janay Palmer Rice. He hasn't hit any women."
Co-host Cari Champion tried to interject and tell Smith it was "time to wrap things up," but he well full steam ahead.
"By the way, the last time I checked, Skip, why are we talking about the NFL as if it's some cesspool for domestic violence?" Smith barked. "There's a few cases. It's being dealt with."
Bayless again agreed with the sentiment that it might be time for Goodell to resign. Smith's rage only grew.
"He deserves to lose his career because of this? Because the National Organization for Women are gonna come out and treat Roger Goodell like he has committed domestic violence?" Smith shot back.
Smith's ranting and raving continued until ESPN cut him off with a commercial break as he repeatedly growled "tell them to call into my show, ridiculous."
The commentator's fury came as Goodell sent a memo to team owners and executives admitting that the NFL never asked the Revel Casino for the security tape.
A copy of the memo obtained by the Baltimore Sun reveals the league asked several law enforcement entities for the video but was denied.
"None of the law enforcement entities we approached was permitted to provide any video or other investigatory material to us," said Goodell.
The commissioner also notably did not unequivocally rule out Rice ever donning an NFL uniform again.
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