Nine things for PR pros to know Tuesday morning, 9.9.2014

NFL commissioner under fire; Apple preps for biggest product-release in years; Home Depot confirms data breach; Twitter's Penner moves to Vine; Tinder settles lawsuit with former marketing VP.

1. National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is under fire from members of the media after what many are calling the league’s incompetent-at-best and negligent-at-worst investigation into the February domestic violence incident involving former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice.

TMZ posted video footage on Monday of Rice striking his then-fiance in an elevator at Atlantic City’s Revel casino in February. The NFL said it had not seen the video before suspending Rice for two games — a punishment called excessively light by critics — for his role in the incident. Rice was released by the Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the league after the video came to light.

In a Tuesday morning follow-up, TMZ reported that the NFL never contacted the casino to try to obtain video footage of the incident. NBC Sports’ ProFootballTalk website expressed shock that the league had not viewed the video before suspending Rice.

Loudest among the chorus of Goodell’s critics was ESPN host Keith Olbermann, who called Goodell "an enabler of men who beat women" as he demanded his resignation. Columnists from CBS Sports, The Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle were among those who took Goodell to task.

President Barack Obama addressed the situation in a statement released Monday night, saying, "Stopping domestic violence is something that’s bigger than football."


Meanwhile, Fox News Channel morning show Fox & Friends is facing criticism after one of its hosts joked on Monday that the lesson of the incident is "take the stairs." Update: Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade said Tuesday morning that "domestic abuse is a very serious issue to us, I can assure you."

2. Apple’s biggest product-release event in years is set for Tuesday, and the Internet is rife with speculation about what the company will unveil (iWatch? iPhone 6 models in various sizes?) and who will be there (U2?). Here are "what to expect" stories from ABC News, CNN Money, USA Today, and the Huffington Post.

Meanwhile, ABC News is sending newly minted evening news anchor David Muir to California to cover the event in what the network is promoting as "the only anchor with an exclusive as Apple makes history."


3. Home Depot confirmed Monday night that hackers breached its databases in what some observers believe could be the largest customer data breach ever. The home-improvement chain began preparing customers for this possibility last week when it took to its website and social media to explain the situation.


4. Twitter head of product communications Carolyn Penner is moving to Vine, where she will lead communications and marketing. She was the longest-tenured member of Twitter’s communications team, according to Re/code.


5. Dating app Tinder and parent company IAC have settled a sexual-harassment lawsuit with former VP of marketing Whitney Wolfe.

6. Alibaba executives began meeting with potential investors at 6 am on Monday, making for an early start to the company’s investor road show. Executives from banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase attended the Chinese e-commerce giant’s various events yesterday.


7. Colorado Sen. Mark Udall apologized on Monday after he invoked the names of slain journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff to urge a cautious approach for taking on ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. He had said Foley and Sotloff would encourage lawmakers to avoid impulsiveness in their response.

8. Cybersecurity researchers said Monday that dating apps such as Grindr and OKCupid are failing to take basic security precautions that could protect the private messages of users.

9. Google is facing a backlash from antitrust regulators in Europe, who want the US-based technology giant to make more concessions in terms of its search practices. The European Union has conducted a long-running investigation into the company’s business operations.


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