Roger Goodell told CBS News that he doesn't believe his job as NFL commissioner is in jeopardy as a result of his handling of the Ray Rice situation but admitted the league has a domestic violence problem.
"I'm used to criticism. I'm used to that. Every day, I have to earn my stripes. Every day, I have to, to do a better job. And that's my responsibility to the game, to the NFL and to what I see as society."Roger Goodell
Asked if he felt his job was on the line, Goodell answered: "No."
"I'm used to criticism. I'm used to that. Every day, I have to earn my stripes," he said in a portion of Tuesday's interview that aired on "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday, . "Every day, I have to, to do a better job. And that's my responsibility to the game, to the NFL and to what I see as society.
"People expect a lot from the NFL. We accept that. We embrace that. That's our opportunity to make a difference, not just in the NFL but in society in general. We have that ability. We have that influence. And we have to do that. And every day, that's what we're going to strive to do."
The interview was aired several hours before The Associated Press reported that a videotape of Rice striking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in a hotel elevator was sent to an NFL executive in April.
Former linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was punished by Goodell in 2012 for his alleged role in the Saints' bounty scandal only to have the discipline vacated by former commissioner Paul Tagliabue on appeal, took to Twitter to criticize Goodell's handling of the Rice case in a series of tweets.
He should be held accountable for his lack of action just like Ray Rice has finally been held accountable for his actions.
- Jonathan Vilma (@JonVilma51) September 10, 2014
Goodell said he believes the NFL has a domestic violence problem because "one case is too many."
"What we have to do is go back and say, 'If we have one case, that's something we've got to address. If we have multiple cases, we have to change our training and our education to try and eliminate that issue,'" he said.
Goodell pointed to the NFL's revamped policy on punishment for domestic violence as a way the league is trying to find answers to that problem. Under that policy, first-time offenders are suspended for six games upon conviction and a lifetime ban is issued for a second offense.
"And what we want do is, by the policy that we implemented two weeks ago, is say, 'We haven't done this right,'" he said.
"We have had lots of conversations, lots of listening and learning right here in this room with experts, not just in the last two weeks or three weeks or month but over the last couple of years, to say, 'How can we deal with this issue better? How can we prevent the cases from happening? And when they do happen, how can we send the right message to say, "This is unacceptable"?'"
Currently, there are two pending cases of alleged domestic violence involving NFL players. Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was found guilty by a judge of assaulting his former girlfriend but has appealed the decision. His fate will now be decided by a jury. San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence against his girlfriend late last month. Both players are playing for their teams while their legal cases are unresolved.
Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games but adjusted the punishment to an indefinite suspension after seeing the videotape of the former Baltimore Ravens running back punching his now-wife in the face in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, elevator. Goodell claimed in the portion of the interview that aired on Tuesday's "CBS Evening News" that Monday was the first time he had viewed that video and that the NFL was rebuffed in its attempts to get the videotape from law enforcement agencies.
NFL officials sent a letter written by Goodell to teams on Wednesday detailing the investigative process in the Rice case. In the letter, Goodell said he would do better going forward.