A former NFL executive told USA Today that his team and others in the league failed to discipline players in “hundreds and hundreds” of domestic violence cases during his 30-year career.
Jerry Angelo, who was the general manager of the Chicago Bears from 2001 to 2011, told the newspaper that he regrets not taking action after learning of a player’s involvement in a domestic violence incident.
“I made a mistake,” he told USA Today. “I was human. I was part of it. I’m not proud of it.”
Angelo said the typical response after finding out that a player was involved in a domestic violence case was to ask “OK, is everybody OK? Yeah. How are they doing? Good” before simply moving on. He further admitted to the newspaper that he didn’t report cases involving his players to the league because it would have put the team at a competitive disadvantage.
“Our business is to win games,” Angelo said. “We’ve got to win games, and the commissioner’s job is to make sure the credibility of the National Football League is held in the highest esteem. But to start with that, you have to know who’s representing the shield. We got our priorities a little out of order.”
Angelo was speaking to USA Today about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the Ray Rice case. Goodell originally handed the ex-Baltimore Ravens running back a two-game suspension for allegedly assaulting his then-fiancee, then suspended him indefinitely after TMZ published surveillance video of the incident that purportedly showed Rice knocking the woman unconscious.
The NFL has repeatedly said no one in the league was aware of the surveillance footage until TMZ published the video, although law enforcement reportedly sent the footage to the league back in April.