By RYAN GORMAN
Calls for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step down are growing louder by the day as the fallout from the Ray Rice assault scandal continues to damage the league's reputation - but should he resign?
Goodell is a lifelong NFL employee who worked his way from being an intern to running the world's richest sports league. His reputation was built on meting out tough punishments to misbehaving players, but his bungling of the Rice incident may have irreversibly tarnished the commissioner.
The National Organization for Woman calling Wednesday for Goodell resign is only the latest dent in his armor.
Many Americans were infuriated when he originally handed down only a two-game suspension to the former Ravens running back after he pleaded guilty to hitting then-fiancee Jenay Parker in an Atlantic City elevator and dragging her unconscious body into a hallway.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, by comparison, received a season-long ban for smoking marijuana. Gordon is not known to have assaulted or harmed anyone while high.
Rice's ban was made indefinite this week, but only after TMZ released previously unseen video of Ray Rice punching his fiancee in the elevator and the Baltimore Ravens terminated his contract.
Some politicians have, in varying degrees, supported a changing of the guard at the league's posh Park Avenue office.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) told The Hill when asked if Goodell should resign that "he should consider it seriously."
Others have said that domestic violence has no place in the league, and that leadership needs to take more care in how it handles these issues - but stopped short of saying the commissioner should resign, at least on the record.
Forbes magazine published an op-ed Wednesday: "It's Time For Roger Goodell To Resign As Commissioner Of The NFL."
ESPN's Keith Olbermann did not show the same restraint. He repeatedly called for Goodell and other to resign during a Monday night segment on his primetime show.
"Each of them must be expelled or leave from their current positions."
The Washington Post suggested the only way to save the NFL is to put former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in charge.
The Post's call to arms cited a 2002 New York Times report in which Condoleeza Rice expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for the job, and even called it her "dream job."
"That's absolutely right," she told the Times. "I think it would be a very interesting job because I actually think football, with all due respect to baseball, is a kind of national pastime that brings people together across social lines, across racial lines. And I think it's an important American institution."
Despite all of this, Goodell said in a CBS News interview Tuesday that he will not step down.
The most vocal of Goodell's supporters has so far been ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. The boisterous talking head emphatically defended the commissioner, saying he should not have to step down.
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