NFL Image Takes a Tackle

One of the hot topics recently hitting the media today has been the news surrounding Ray Rice and the Baltimore Ravens. This story has created turmoil and conflict when regarding the NFL’s image but more specifically Roger Goodell’s image. Back when the news first broke about Rice supposedly hitting his now wife, the NFL responded with little punishment due to the fact that there was no proof.

Recently, TMZ has released video footage of the incident, which resulted in Rice’s suspension. The biggest question that has came to surface was whether or not the NFL knew about the video before it was released to the public. Goodell and Baltimore Ravens coach, John Harbaugh, responded saying that they had no prior knowledge of this video.

Video contains violence, discretion advised (

Now the Associated Press has released a statement and a voicemail that proves the video was sent to the NFL back in April. So what does this mean for the NFL and the NFL commissioner? The image of Roger Goodell is quickly declining, due to his unresponsiveness to the issue.

In an organization as large as the NFL, the commissioner works as a sort of mouthpiece for the entire entity. He doesn’t just speak for himself; he also speaks as the NFL. This personification of the entire organization makes the choices of one man represent the image at large. This is why Goodell’s actions are so detrimental to the NFL’s entire brand image.

This topic perfectly blends together with Marshall McLuhan’s theory of Media Ecology. According to Griffin (2011) this surrounds the idea that technology not only influences our society as a whole, but that also how media and communication practices shape and affect human perceptions and understanding of human affairs. The video of Ray Rice that went viral into our social media world, shaped our insight and intuition of how the NFL and Roger Goodell handle its organization, and certainly affects out external interpretation of the NFL’s image.

-Hannah Zeskind, Connor Gold, Margaret Cafasso, Kierstin Geary, and Olivia Sadler