“I know Roger Goodell quite well and he is a man of very high integrity,” McAdam said Thursday at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, according to a transcript of the talk that Verizon provided to the Daily Dot.
The NFL has partnered with Verizon in an attempt to salvage its reputation with a new, anti-domestic violence campaign.
There’s a lot to repair, stemming from Goodell’s July decision to punish then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice with a mere two-game suspension. Witnesses said Rice had punched his then-fiance, Janay Palmer, in the face, and a video of him dragging her unconscious from an elevator has since gone viral. Goodell, however, has claimed—contrary to multiple reports from some of the nation’s top football reporters—that the NFL only saw a second video, which explicitly shows Rice punching Palmer out, after TMZ obtained and published it. After significant public and media pressure, Goodell then suspended Rice indefinitely, though he’s yet to address why that second piece of evidence was even needed.
In his talk, McAdam stressed both Verizon’s own anti-domestic violence program, as well as his company’s deep ties to the NFL as a content provider, including an exclusive five-year license to stream pro football games to mobile apps.
“I don’t have any inside information other than what you see in the press,” McAdam said, before explaining that rather than being disturbed by Goodell’s leadership, he saw it as a chance for corporate synergy:
“And I will say this maybe a little bit of inside baseball here, but when this first broke, Roger came to Verizon and said would you help educate us and create a program to combat domestic violence because you are one of the bellwethers in this area and our teams have been meeting and helping them create their own internal programs here. And so we are very supportive of Roger and very supportive of the NFL and we are going to wait and see how the facts play out here, but I’m at this point satisfied with the actions that they’ve taken.”
Law enforcement officials have provided audio confirmation from an NFL executive confirming she received the second tape in April. That appears to contradict Goodell’s claim that “no one in the NFL” saw the tape. Even still, McAdam didn’t see any deeper malice at play.
“I will not believe that there is some conspiracy to cover this up,” he said.