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Support Is Growing For Condoleezza Rice As NFL Commissioner

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Support is growing for a campaign to draft Condoleezza Rice as Commissioner for the troubled National Football League (NFL).

American football, the country’s most popular sport and a bastion of macho male culture, has suffered one of the worst weeks in its history with three high-profile stars facing accusations of domestic violence.


The crisis has led to calls for Ms Rice, a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan, to step in replace the beleaguered Roger Goodell as Commissioner.


As far back as 2002 Ms Rice described becoming NFL Commissioner as her dream job.


Now she is getting serious backing, including from former members of the Bush administration, for taking on the task of rescuing a sport whose image has taken a severe battering over the last seven days.


Earlier this week the Washington Post carried a piece by a member of its editorial board calling for Ms Rice, 59, to take over from Mr Goodell, who has come under fire over his handling of the domestic violence scandal which has engulfed the sport.


Politicians and women’s groups were enraged by the NFL’s decision to impose what they regarded as an inadequate two match ban on Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens’ running back who knocked his fiancée out cold in the lift of a New Jersey casino.


He belatedly received an indefinite ban after footage of the incident was released by TMZ, a gossip website.


Mr Goodell insisted NFL officials had not seen the incriminating tape when the original ban was imposed.


This has now been disputed and several senators have called for him to step down.


“If he lied to the American people, he has to step down,” said Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat senator for New York.


The Mr Goodell’s plight was worsened when the indefinite ban was attacked by Rice’s wife – the victim of the original assault – who took to the social media to back her husband.


The Washington Post did not mince its words in condemning Mr Goodell and backing Ms Rice.


“Roger Goodell has made a mess of it. Time for the former Secretary of State with an intense love of the game to step in and save the NFL,” the Washington Post wrote.


Others to advance her cause include Karl Rove, George W Bush’s deputy chief of staff.


“I think Condi would succeed in any job she had, as she did when she was national security adviser, Secretary of State, Provost of Stanford, etc,” Mr Rove said.


“If it’s a job she wants, with her encyclopedic knowledge of the sport and passion for the game, I have no doubt she’d be great.”


With the row over Rice showing little sign of abating the sport was hit by two more allegations of domestic violence


On Friday one of the biggest names in gridiron, Adrian Peterson, a running back with the Minnesota Vikings, was indicted by a Texas grand jury for beating his four-year old son with a stick.


He was “deactivated” – or dropped from the team over the weekend as was Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers.


Hardy was left out from the side after being found guilty of assaulting his girlfriend by a district judge in July, although her is appealing the verdict.


Should Ms Rice get the post, she will not be the first politician to take on a high profile role in sport.


In Britain Lord Mawhinney, who was a member of John Major’s cabinet, became chairman of the Football League in 2003.



Originally appeared on | written by: David Millward - the Telegraph



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Guest Saturday, 15 August 2020