On Friday NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended his league’s decision on the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice, who was suspended for the first two games of the season for allegedly knocking his girlfriend unconscious in an Atlantic City elevator. Speaking in Canton, Ohio prior to Saturday’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Goodell said that Rice “recognizes he made a horrible mistake” and that he’s got to “work to re-establish himself.” Numerous critics have said loudly that Rice’s penalty is painfully incommensurate with Rice’s actions. The commissioner stressed that this was Ray Rice’s first offense against league policy.
In other professional sports news, pro golfer Dustin Johnson was suspended by the PGA Tour for six months for failing a drug test. Golf.com reports that it is Johnson’s third failed test. Johnson was supposedly suspended once already, but the league kept it quiet. ESPN says that the PGA Tour “is not required to announce any disciplinary actions against players who test positive for recreational drugs.” NFL policy would have forced a much bigger penalty on Ray Rice if he had tested positive for cocaine as Johnson did, instead of hitting his fiancee. But the NFL doesn’t test players for recreational drugs during the season.
Follow-up: USA Today late Friday reports the following from the PGA: “”With regard to media reports that Dustin Johnson has been suspended by the PGA Tour, this is to clarify that Mr. Johnson has taken a voluntary leave of absence and is not under a suspension from the PGA Tour,” a statement read.