Majority of Americans want NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign
By RYAN GORMAN
A significant majority of Americans want NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign, an AOL News poll has found.
About 57 percent of respondents called for the commissioner to step down while only 35 percent believe he should stay after reports have called into question the league's handling of the Ray Rice controversy. A further eight percent feel that it does not matter who runs the league.
Opinions were strongly divided across those in favor of Goodell staying and those who want him out.
"What's this got to do with football anyway!! He does a fantastic job and even to consider this is ridiculous!!" Wrote commenter Bobby Glass.
"A fantastic job? You have to be out of your mind! This guy is destroying the NFL!!!" Replied Carol Stowe.
Prominent politicians, organizations (including the National Organization for Women) and publications have called for Goodell to resign as the fallout from his response to surveillance video being released this week showing Rice punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in the face in an Atlantic City elevator earlier this year has grown.
AOL readers appear to agree.
Of the 5,874 people who answered the AOL News poll between Wednesday and Sunday morning, 3,358 called for Goodell to leave, 2,032 want him to stay and 484 said "it does not matter who is in charge, nothing will change."
Goodell and other league officials insisted they had seen only the video of the former Baltimore Ravens running back dragging his unconscious wife out of the elevator, but multiple reports have called that assertion into question.
The Super Bowl champion's initial two-game suspension was changed to an indefinite ban as his contract was terminated by the Baltimore Ravens.
A league official who viewed the tape in April reportedly left a voicemail with a New Jersey law enforcement source acknowledging how bad it was.
"You're right, it's terrible," the message said, according to the Associated Press. The call came from a phone number traced to the league's Park Avenue offices.
Team owner Steve Bisciotti told a local Baltimore television station that his affinity for the star player caused him to have blinders to his faults. He again made this admission during a nationally televised interview Thursday on CBS. He offered an apology in both instances.
Goodell, though, has been defiant. He has insisted the league was unable to obtain the security footage independently despite having several former FBI and other ex-law enforcement agents on its investigative staff.
Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, Goodell has refused to admit the league saw the graphic footage made public this week by TMZ.
This has led to significant backlash and negative publicity for the league. The tide of negativity was not helped when star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted Friday on child abuse charges - for beating his son with a tree branch.
Owners have given no indication they would vote Goodell off the NFL island, but the voices from those outside the $10 billion a year sports empire calling for his head are only growing louder.
"The man is a liar! He should not resign, he should be FIRED!" Wrote another commenter.
Despite a sea of shouts for Goodell's ouster, the NFL lifer does have some support.
"Why should he resign? Is he supposed to babysit GROWN men who don't know how to act civilized?" Said one AOL reader.
"No one should lose their job over this.This is personal and everyone should mind their own business." said another.
Peterson was deactivated from the Vikings roster from Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, but Goodell has yet to weigh in.
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Should NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell resign?