Christie criticizes Rice, calls NFL’s Roger Goodell ‘An outstanding man’
On Townsquare New Jersey’s “Ask the Governor” Thursday, Gov. Chris Christie spoke in support of the NFL's expulsion of ex-Baltimore Raven Ray Rice, who was caught on video punching his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
The governor also called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, recently criticized for his initial response to the Rice issue, an "outstanding man."
Christie started with a sharp rebuke to Rice. "There is no excuse or rational for domestic violence," Christie said. "A man cannot raise his hand to a woman."
Rice was fired by the Ravens shortly after video was uncovered of him punching his then-fiancée, whom he later married. Soon after, the NFL banned him indefinitely from the league.
Was the league overstepping its bounds by banning Rice before he was proven guilty in court?
"To play in the NFL is not a right, it’s a privilege," said Christie. "The fact is that you have rights as a person in this country... but that’s not the case at your job."
Christie was also quick to throw his support behind Goodell, who has been criticized for a slow response to the Rice incident, and what some classified as an initially-weak punishment for Rice. Some allege that NFL officials had seen the video, revealed to the public on Sept 8, as early as April.
"Roger Goodell is an outstanding man," Christie said.
Some observers have even called for Goodell's job – though he would have to lose a vote among the owners of the NFL's 32 teams for that to happen. "If I were an NFL owner, I would vote to keep [him]," Christie said.
See video below of Christie's comments on Ray Rice and Roger Goodell from Thursday night's Ask The Governor.