After all, the Ravens also cut ties with the running back that same day.
But the situation has been unravelling at his feet ever since.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that a law enforcement official said he sent the second video of Rice punching her to an NFL executive five months ago.
But this is what Goodell told CBS during an interview:
"We had not seen any video tape of what occurred in the elevator. We assumed that there was a video, we asked for the video, we asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity."
The league has appointed an independent investigator — FBI director Robert S. Mueller — to conduct a probe into how NFL handled evidence.
But if it’s revealed that an NFL executive did indeed receive and view the video, Goodell would be expected to plead ignorance in the matter.
But, funny, that’s the exact plea he rejected from the New Orleans Saints during the bounty scandal in 2012.
In a letter to the organization, Goodell told coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis that “ignorance is not an excuse,” when they claimed they were unaware that then-defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams put out bounties against opposing players.
Payton was suspended for one year, while Loomis was hit with an eight-game ban.
This brings us back to Goodell.
Even if the league’s poobah didn’t view the second video, isn’t he ultimately responsible because he runs the league?
Vote in the poll below and have your say.
Past and present NFL players take Goodell to task on Twitter.