The reaction from many PR professionals to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell’s Friday afternoon press conference was quick — and very harsh — on social media.
Goodell announced partnerships with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and apologized for his handling of the incident involving former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice. Goodell said he will not resign.
Mashable called it "the press conference from hell."
PR pros hammered the commissioner on Twitter for his performance.
GUYS GUYS GUYS - Roger Goodell was a PR intern for the NFL in the 1980s. This dude needs no coaching. He’s got this.— BPLewis (@BPLewis) September 19, 2014
When you are under fire, you don't insult people asking questions and come off flippant. Goodell just made the situation a whole lot worse— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) September 19, 2014
I know the new iPhone just came out and Roger Goodell is making an ass of himself...but, more importantly: SHAKE IT OFF IS ON SPOTIFY NOW.— Peter Mertens (@psMertens) September 19, 2014
In a blog post published shortly after the press conference, MWW EVP for corporate communications Carreen Winters said Goodell made small steps toward restoring the NFL’s reputation, but acknowledged his fumbling of a few questions.
"Once he was forced to go off script, Goodell struggled with a number of questions – including the revelation that a FOIA request for records shows no evidence that the NFL ever requested the Ray Rice video tape," she wrote. "Football is a game of inches. And that is how the NFL can restore its reputation – one hard fought inch at a time."
Goodell, under fire for his initially weak punishment of former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice following an attack on his then-fiancee, shouldered responsibility, again saying he "didn’t get it right," and adding on Friday the NFL needs to get its house in order. Throughout his address, Goodell appeared to put on his best apologetic tone, though he became more headstrong when fielding questions about his job performance.
The commissioner said Friday he has not considered resigning and he remained adamant that no one in league offices had seen the video posted three weeks ago by TMZ of Rice knocking out his then-fiancee.
While the NFL launched an investigation into its handling of the case by former FBI chief Robert Mueller, three more professional football players made headlines for alleged assault against women and children. Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson, and Jonathan Dwyer will not play for their teams while facing charges.
Goodell noted that the National Domestic Violence Hotline has received an 84% increase in calls during a one-week period in September, but did not have the resources to handle each one.
"They need our help," he said.
Next month, NFL personnel will take part in education programs and later, training programs. The commissioner added "nothing is off the table" in regard to the league’s recently updated domestic abuse policy because some, but not all, players are being penalized for their actions.
Twitter lit up Friday afternoon as Goodell spoke or answered questions for close to 45 minutes. The hashtags #NFLdomesticviolence and #Goodell were trending across the United States.
Some players were not impressed with the commissioner, to say the least.
This press conference is pointless— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) September 19, 2014
Boo this man... ??— Sidney Rice (@sidneyrice) September 19, 2014
I know some people that got it wrong and don't have a job anymore. Does this mean it's ok to get it wrong? You gain 0 yards on an inc pass!— Sidney Rice (@sidneyrice) September 19, 2014
This story was updated on September 19 with a more recent video on Goodell's press conference.