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Ryan Clark Calls Out Roger Goodell For More Of His Hypocrisy


He’s no longer a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but safety Ryan Clark remains a member of the Roger Goodell Watchdog Group.

On the Tuesday morning edition of “First Take”, Clark, who signed with the Washington Redskins during the offseason, was critical of the way that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has handled Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who was arrested back in March for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated, but yet to be disciplined by the league.

“Right now, if Jim Irsay is going to represent this league, represent the Indianapolis Colts, going to be on TV at the owners meetings, trying to bring a Super Bowl to Indianapolis after what he’s done? It shows the hypocrisy of the NFL and also Roger Goodell in the way that he deals with players and the way he deals for the people he works for,” Clark said.

“He’s always said, ‘Well, I don’t work for the owners.’ That’s not true. Because in the CBA negotiations, you were sitting with the owners.”

Goodell was reportedly asked about Irsay’s situation this week while in Atlanta, GA for the owners’ meetings and the commissioner said, “There have been no charges. So the answer is, until we have more information or more facts, we will let it play out.”

That response didn’t sit well with Clark, who quickly pointed out that his former teammate, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, was suspended by Goodell in April of 2010 for six games less than two months after he was accused of sexual misconduct at a nightclub in a Georgia college town. Roethlisberger was ultimately never charged with any crime.

“So when has having enough information been what Roger Goodell waits for to make these decisions?” Clark said. “When does a charge necessarily warrant the penalty? We’ve seen in so many cases, Roger Goodell being judge and jury when it comes to players.

“I was on a team with a player that was never actually charged. There were accusations and allegations, but he was never actually charged, nor arrested.”

Clark pointed to Irsay’s history of substance abuse and the fact that a large sum of money and prescription drugs that weren’t in his name were found in his possession when he was pulled over and arrested as reasons why Goodell should have already made a ruling on the Colts owner.

“What more information do we need than these aren’t your prescription pills? You’re obviously under the influence. You have $29k. There would be no questions asked if this was a player,” he said.

Clark, who was elected to the NFLPA’s Executive Committee back in March, certainly makes a strong argument and it certainly hits home to him being as was on a team that suffered losing its starting quarterback for four games due to a rush of judgment by the commissioner. Goodell could have and should have waited several more weeks for the police in Georgia to wrap up their investigation into the accusations against Roethlisberger before issuing a punishment. The fact that the Steelers quarterback was never arrested or charged with a crime, still makes Goodell look like a fool.

It will be interesting to see how Goodell handles Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after it was reported on Tuesday that he will be allowed to enter a pre-trial intervention program which should prevent criminal charges for the alleged assault of his wife in a casino elevator back in February. It’s already been three months since that incident happened and unlike with Roethlisberger’s alleged incident, there’s actually some pretty damning video footage associated with the Rice incident.

I hope Redskins fans get used to Clark being on ESPN.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Rosco

    I feel that Ray Rice will be let off the hook because of the Irsay incident!! How will Goodell look punishing a player and not Irsay!!

  • Aric Brown

    Clark is always spinning things the way he wants them spun…. What about Aldon Smith? What about Pat and Kevin Williams… guys get off all the time… in fact aside from Ben and Pacman Jones… everyone has pretty well gotten off

  • Ike Evans

    Aldon smith was already suspended….and if my memory is correct so was von miller…so everyone is not just getting off

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Ryan Clark’s comments are insignificant in Washington compared to the Dan Snyder circus.

  • Smashmouth

    Ryan has never been a Goodell supporter but i agree with his sentiments on the Irsey situation after all the missteps the Goodell has made during his tenure with the players union he isn’t about to have the owners angry with him

  • Steve

    What is Godell going to do suspend Irsey? Best thing he can do is hit him in the pocket. Rice should be suspended for at least 4 games.

  • IQB

    Goodell suspended Ben do to influence from the Rooney’s. Goodell didn’t decide that on his own.

  • Tom

    Clark is a blowhard. Once again spewing anything to bring attention to himself, in an effort to promote his post football media career.

    Is it unthinkable that Goodell is simply letting the legal process, in Irsay’s issue, to run its course before he “lowers the boom”? I have no doubt that some form of punishment will be handed down at some point.

    IF Ray Rice gets suspended 4+ games….and Irsay gets off the hook, he would have something to complain about. At this point he has totally jumped the gun with his criticism. It’s reckless and irresponsible.

  • Aric Brown

    Smith has still not been suspended… He left for a few games last year in order to avoid suspension… Goodell says he will take that into account when weighing whether or not to suspend

  • Matt Manzo

    At least Ryan hits as hard as he talks! He’s gonna be a great analyst!

  • Jeff

    For the first time in quite some time, some compelling points made by Mr. Clark..

  • patrick Mayfield

    He’s comparing BR to Irsay not Rice to Irsay.

    irresponsible? what is he responsible for?

  • Madi

    I find that he’s almost always right on point. Every team has a loud mouth. Ours was intelligent, articulate, and correct. I’m sure you agree we were blessed to have him.

  • Spencer Krick

    He’s not wrong.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Tha’ts exactly what clark is saying

  • DoctorNoah

    Neither reckless nor irresponsible, IMHO. Voice for the players, who do need an articulate voice, given that most people are loath to bite the hand that feeds them. While perhaps premature, given that there will likely be a significant punishment for Irsay, I think Goodell is learning that he has to tread lightly while legal proceedings are going on, that he has jumped the gun with players before, and that he needs to be more careful. He’s going to need to deal with Ray Rice by the start of the season, but punishment for Irsay can happen anytime.

  • Wing t

    He should be seen and not heard.

  • steeltown

    Valid point Mr. Clark

  • Yiz

    There’s nothing to spin? He reiterated the facts and if Pat Williams or Kevin Williams were caught with everything that Irsay (who has history of substance abuse) was caught with, they would be out for the year with/without the legal system running it’s course.

  • Aric Brown

    Just like Aldon Smith,,.. SMH

  • blue

    Goodell cant mess up combine in Indy

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Based on what?

  • Dewayne Braxton

    If perserving the integrity of league really matters, then there should be appropriate consequnces for all representatives who casue embarrassment. The fact that you think Rice should be suspended at least 4 games but Irsay simply deserves a fine, has everything to do with who you are and nothing about equal punishment. I think you are in the wrong blog.

  • Steve

    Say they suspend Isrey 6 games, would that hurt him more then fining him $250,000?

  • Dewayne Braxton

    See, you still don’t get it. As an owner Irsay should be held to the highest standards. He had drugs narcotics that did not belong to him. He was drunk. And you think there should be an option between a fine or suspension. If he was a player he would lose money and games. Irsay deserves a suspension and a fine. Not one or the other. Moreover, you think a cheap 250,000 is an adequate fine for a multi-millionaire owner. Treat him as if he was Ben. Get it now. I doubt that you do.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Fact is Irsay has hurt the NFL’s image. The league does not need a prosecution to see that. In the same way, Ben was not foud guilty but he made choices that hurt his team and the league and he paid. Irsay should be punished. A suspension while his case is under investigation would be approriate. He is an owner and therefore should be held to the highest standards.

  • Lizard72

    What does suspending him do to him? How do you tell a person they can’t have anything to do with his/her investment for a certain period of time? Best they could do is fine him and maybe a draft or salary cap hit.

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