Roger Goodell says he will NOT resign as NFL Commissioner ... and believes he has the full support of the NFL owners.
Goodell addressed the media at a news conference in NYC -- and for the most part, reiterated that he screwed up in the handling of the Ray Rice case and vows to do better.
"Over the past several weeks, we have seen all to much of the NFL doing wrong, that starts with me."
Goodell believes he should stay in power because "I acknowledged my mistakes."
When asked if he felt the league supports him staying as Commish, Goodell said ... "I believe I have the support of the owners. That is clear to me."
But the best part of the event, when Benjy from the "Howard Stern Show" started yelling and screaming ... and when he was dragged away by security he yelled, "DON'T PUT ME IN THE ELEVATOR!!!"
to Ditch #27 Jersey
9/19/2014 6:14 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
There were massive lines Friday morning all over the country with people looking to get their hands on the latest iPhone ... but in Baltimore, the biggest line was at M&T Bank Stadium ... with people looking to GET RID OF their Ray Rice jerseys.
Just like the New England Patriots did last year with Aaron Hernandez, the Baltimore Ravens are allowing their fans to exchange their Rice jerseys for another player.
The exchange is only eligible on officially licensed jerseys made by Nike or Reebok and they had to be purchased either at the stadium store or the Ravens Official Team Store online.
Yeah, but do the jerseys have ApplePay built in?
I'm Pulling for Ray Rice
9/17/2014 10:42 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
He lashed out at Adrian Peterson ... but when it comes to Ray Rice, Cris Carter tells TMZ Sports he's rooting for the NFL star to get his life back together.
Carter was on his way to the White House when he told us he stands by his emotional statements on Peterson -- saying he still strongly believes the Vikings should keep him off the field.
But when we asked about Rice, the NFL Hall of Famer told us he hopes the former Ravens running back can redeem himself ... and strongly believes he'll be able to get his life back together.
As for why Carter is at the White House -- he's set to speak on a panel about his battle with substance abuse and recovery.
'Selling Poison On That High Horse'
9/16/2014 3:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Arian Foster is GOING OFF on Anheuser-Busch for daring to criticize the league's handling of the domestic violence crisis -- saying the beer giant is, "Selling poison on that high horse."
The Houston Texans running back's blood was clearly boiling when he read AB's statement ... which said it was "not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code."
Foster's response -- "Lol ok, alcohol company."
"Selling poison on that high horse," he wrote ... adding, "Domestic violence and alcohol damn near synonymous."
Foster was challenged on Twitter, with someone saying, "Finally a BIG time company taking a public stance AGAINST and you rip them? Huh?"
His response? "You need a company to tell you dv is wrong?"
"Everybody is just riding the media wave. There has been tons of dv cases throughout the years where was all this support then? Its political."
"Anytime it's starts to tinkering with their bottom line, then they act. Now they're concerned."
NFL/CBS Deceived Everyone
I NEVER Signed on for Football
9/16/2014 11:08 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Rihanna is livid at the NFL and CBS ... claiming the league and the network had no right to make it look like she was part of the Ravens/Steelers Thursday night pre-game show ... and had no right to single her out when it was scrapped.
Sources connected with Rihanna tell TMZ ... the singer was pissed when someone sent her the joint NFL/CBS press release last week, with the headline, "CBS & NFL Network 'Run This Town' for Thursday Night Football Open with Music Featuring Rihanna & Narration by Don Cheadle."
In fact Rihanna never did anything special for the game ... all CBS/NFL did was license a Jay Z song that featured Rihanna.
Rihanna's rep tells TMZ, "Due to the misuse and misrepresentation of Rihanna's name and participation in connection to CBS TNF, CBS was not allowed to license and utilize the song 'Run This Town.' Roc Nation made the decision to not grant the song’s usage."
Translation: Because her name was used to promote the show, she felt she then had the right to block the production.
Rihanna also made it clear on social media Tuesday ... she is also angry that CBS yanked the production and insinuated it was because she was the victim of domestic violence.
CBS's plan was to use the Jay Z song along with a voiceover by Don Cheadle that would be customized for each match up -- but CBS said today the song will NOT be used.
We called CBS and the NFL ... so far, no comment.
Slams CBS for Pulling Her
from Ravens Game
9/16/2014 5:29 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
7:53 AM PT -- CBS released a statement saying they will NOT use Rihanna's performance going forward, saying, "Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements of our Thursday Night Football open. We will be using our newly created Thursday Night Football theme music to open our game broadcast."
It took a few days, but Rihanna is finally lashing out about CBS' decision to yank her musical opening from "Thursday Night Football" last week and air it this week instead ... and let's just say she's not happy.
With the Ray Rice scandal still fresh, and the Ravens set to play the Steelers, CBS opted not to run a taped musical segment featuring Rihanna ... seeing as she had been the victim of high-profile domestic violence.
But with the segment now set to air this week, Rihanna took to Twitter to blast CBS, writing, "CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, F*** you! Y'all are sad for penalizing me for this."
As for what she means by "penalizing" ... it's pretty clear she feels CBS will not allow her to move on from getting beaten by Chris Brown 5 years ago.
She followed that up by writing, "The audacity ..."
Rihanna was in Barbados Monday ... looking extremely good.
HIRES 3 FEMALE ADVISERS
to Handle Dom. Violence Issues
9/15/2014 8:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Roger Goodell has reportedly just hired 3 women as "senior advisers" ... in an effort to shape the NFL's domestic violence and sexual assault policies.
The women -- Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith -- will be tasked with "making a real difference on these and other issues" ... so says the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Friel was the head of the Manhattan D.A.'s sex crimes unit for almost a decade ... but was reportedly asked to step down in 2011 after appearing in an HBO documentary and discussing details about a pending case.
Story developing ...
SURFACES WITH WIFE
At High School FB Game
9/13/2014 12:46 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ray Rice and his wife Janay have finally emerged in public -- attending a high school football game with their daughter Saturday .... laughing and smiling as if they didn't have a care in the world.
The couple surfaced in New Rochelle High School in NY -- where Ray played ball back in the day -- and cheered on the school from the sidelines.
Interesting, considering Ray's middle school recently took down his football jersey in the wake of the elevator attack video.
Meantime, the NRHS football coach expressed SUPPORT for Ray -- and said he will always be a part of the New Rochelle High family.
Ray didn't speak with the media -- and left before the game ended.
BTW -- NRHS won ... big.
Ray Rice Prosecutors
Our Boss Handled Criminal Case 'Shamefully'
9/13/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ray Rice's criminal case was handled "outrageously" and "shamefully" ... this according to numerous prosecutors in the office ... TMZ Sports has learned.
Multiple prosecutors in the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office have spoken with TMZ -- on condition of anonymity -- and they say it is "virtually unheard of" for their office to allow someone like Ray Rice to avoid felony charges. What's more ... they say it all happened behind closed doors ... behind their backs.
We previously reported ... the grand jury indicted Rice for felony abuse after viewing the elevator video posted on TMZ Sports. Rice's lawyer then petitioned for something called PTI -- Pre-trial Intervention -- which gives first time offenders a break ... reducing the charge to a minor offense.
As one prosecutor said, "If there is violence or even a threat of violence by the perpetrator, prosecutors almost always object to a PTI and judges always follow the prosecutor's wishes" ... meaning the case gets tried as a felony.
Not so with Rice. We're told the case did NOT go to the Domestic Violence Unit ... which is where it should have gone. Instead, it was micromanaged by Jim McClain, the prosecutor who runs the office and his number 2 prosecutor, Diane Ruberton. The Domestic Violence Unit was in the dark.
Another prosecutor said, "Never did I see a case this violent get PTI. It's off the charts abnormal."
The prosecutors say virtually everyone in the office was outraged when the case was closed on May 20. As one prosecutor said, "The video is disgusting. He [Rice] treated her like a pile of s***, human garbage, dragging her out of the elevator."
And it gets worse. We're told either on June 17 or 18 ... Jim McClain called all of the prosecutors into the conference room and said he would no longer use the Domestic Violence Unit to process cases where the grand jury indicts abusers. We're told McClain said it was just a matter of resources.
But our sources say McClain's decision is a disaster. They say the cases are now handled by overworked prosecutors who handle general crimes and don't have the time or training to handle DV cases. They have no time to help the victims through the process. Our sources say McClain has "all but obliterated the DV Unit."
As for why McClain handled the Rice case the way he did and then emasculated the DV unit ... none of the prosecutors have a clue.
McClain tells TMZ Sports Diane Ruberton is "one of our most experienced attorneys," adding she was assisted by a Victim Witness Coordinator. McClain also said he consulted with Ruberton and another prosecutor who handles PTI domestic violence applications, before deciding not to object to Rice's PTI bid.
McClain says, "Any allegation or intimation that this matter was handled by persons who were inexperienced or unqualified is baseless."
FORGIVE RAY RICE
He Deserves 2nd Chance
9/13/2014 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mo'Nique just joined an even smaller club than than the Academy Award winners group she already belongs to ... people who want to give Ray Rice a second chance.
The "Precious" star was on "Good Day L.A." on FOX 11 this week and when asked about the Rice situation, showed a tidal wave of support for Rice -- more than any other big star has so far.
"A lot of people are saying get rid of him ... in our worst moments we would want empathy."
Check out the video -- Mo'Nique also had glowing things to say about Rice's wife ... explaining why she thought there was "beauty" in Janay forgiving Ray.
Advises Ray Rice ...
Control Yourself and Don't F-Up
9/12/2014 9:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Some Marriages Aren't Worth Saving
**cough cough Janay **
9/12/2014 8:38 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Toni Braxton says she believes in "standing by your man" ... but when it comes to Ray Rice, it's clear the singer thinks Janay Palmer should make an exception.
Toni and her sister Towanda were leaving Mr. Chow in Bev Hills last night when she told us how she sympathizes for Janay for having to deal with her situation in the public eye ... but strongly implies that she should leave her NFL husband.
Braxton's not the only one who feels that way -- "Couples Therapy" host Dr. Jen Berman strongly suggested Janay divorce Ray ... explaining, "I think you can forgive someone and not have to be in a relationship with them."
Major NFL Sponsor
'Frustrated' With Goodell
9/12/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
One major NFL sponsor tells TMZ Sports ... they are "frustrated" with Roger Goodell -- and will keep a close eye on the investigation to determine whether or not to end its relationship with the NFL.
A key member of the company -- who would not let us use his or his company's name, but trust us ... it's as big as it gets -- tells us, "It's one thing after another [with Goodell]" ... noting the company is particularly "frustrated" with Goodell's "inconsistent policies."
We're told the company has had several internal meetings to discuss its relationship with the league -- but it's NOT at the point of pulling money right now.
"We're concerned with the unknown right now. Where is [the Goodell saga] going next?"
Stay tuned ...