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With his future in question, here’s a brief history of Roger Goodell fucking up

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has had discussions over his contract reportedly stalled by the league’s owners as they grapple with the issue of player protests.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter published a report yesterday revealing that NFL owners have prioritized figuring out what to do with players protesting during the national anthem over virtually all other league business, including Goodell’s contract extension.

The owners have apparently seen their bottomline affected by the protests. As we all know, with this particular group of billionaires, when their money starts getting fucked up, it means action is required.

Schefter wrote of the owners stalling on Goodell’s deal,

“Goodell’s deal is still expected to be completed and has been papered, sources told ESPN, but the process has been slowed while the overwhelming majority of the NFL’s attention has been diverted to handling the anthem issue, which has affected TV ratings, merchandise sales and the country’s feelings about football.”

Goodell’s contract doesn’t necessarily seem to be in jeopardy, but it’s obvious that the players have gotten the attention of the powers that be at the NFL, so much so that the owners barely discussed renewing Goodell’s contract at a recent meeting,

“Had the issue not existed, Goodell’s contract might have been completed at last week’s owners meeting in New York, sources said. However, because the issue has become so critical to the league, the NFL’s compensation committee spent about only 20 minutes Wednesday discussing Goodell’s extension, with Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank leading those talks, sources told ESPN.”

Schefter reported that one source close to the situation told him that almost all other league business has been put on the back burner in lieu of player protests, “‘The anthem issue has overridden everything — and I do mean everything,’ one source told ESPN.”

This all comes after Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported last month that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was singlehandedly holding up talks of an extension between the league and Goodell.

Schefter and Mortensen wrote that Jones was not eager to renew the NFL commissioner’s contract,

“Jones is now being singled out by some owners and league executives as the reason Goodell does not have the contract extension that many expected to be in place before this season kicked off, per sources. Goodell’s current deal expires in 2019.”

Apparently, this has absolutely nothing to do with Goodell’s questionable handling of Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension (surely not!) and instead Jerry Jones just doesn’t like how much money Roger Goodell makes,

“One source familiar with the ongoing drama said Jones has argued persistently for months to the committee that other owners believe Goodell makes ‘way too much money’ and demands a pay cut and a radical change in the formula that compensates the commissioner. Jones also believes several other employees in the league office are overcompensated.”

Roger Goodell makes a yearly salary of $34.1 million to preside over the NFL, a supposed non-profit organization.

With beef between the owners and Roger Goodell, the NFL shows us once again that sometimes there are battles with no good people.

In one corner we have Roger Goodell, a man who makes $34 million in order to hand out dubious suspensions, protect the NFL from concussion lawsuits, and get into dick measuring contests with the league’s star players.

In the other corner, we have NFL owners, a group of old white billionaires who profit off the dangerous and life-threatening labor of players and prioritize silencing dissent amongst those players a number 1 priority.

With that said, we’re all for the firing (or non-renewal) of Roger Goodell! If NFL owners are looking for excuses to get rid of The Ginger Hammer, here’s some things they can reference.

Deflategate

For the sake of transparency, I must admit that I root for the team that got punished here. But regardless of my fan allegiances, suspending the league’s biggest star (over some very questionable evidence of deflated footballs) and then engaging in a long, protracted legal fight in federal court with said star does not seem like the smartest thing to do.

In the end, deflategate was a massive L for Roger Goodell. The Patriots and Tom Brady came back with a vengeance and won the Super Bowl despite Goodell’s self-important intervention. It’s exactly the type of petty, arbitrary, bad-for-optics battle that Goodell seems to love.


Ray Rice suspension

Ugh.

Roger Goodell and the NFL claimed to have “all the information” of the dispute between Ray Rice and his wife Janay in an Atlantic City elevator when the then-Ravens running back was suspended the for 2 games at the beginning of the 2014 season.

Then the tape of the incident was leaked to the public, revealing the extent of the horrifying incident. Goodell sprang into action, suspending Ray Rice indefinitely, despite the fact that it was dubious whether he could actually do that. Then came the issue of whether Goodell and the NFL had already seen the tape, because it had previously been sent to NFL headquarters.

Ultimately, it was a complete PR disaster for the NFL and once again Goodell fucked up so badly that everyone involved seemed like the villain. He has a real knack for that.


Concussions

In 2015, Goodell was asked about the safety of football after 7 youth players died playing the sport. The NFL commissioner responded by saying that there is ‘risk in life’ and compared the safety of football with sitting on your couch,

“If I had a son, I’d love to have him play the game of football. I’d love to have him play the game of football because of the values you get. There’s risk in life. There’s risk in sitting on the couch.”

As a devoted couch-sitter I maintain that sitting on your couch has very little risk to your safety, although it may impact the vitality of your social life.

While Goodell’s response to player safety is a standard deflection from a dude who is no more than a glorified PR rep, the NFL’s work behind the scenes to stop research on concussion in football is downright Orwellian.

When the NFL agreed to donate millions to research into player safety by the National Institutes of Health back in 2012, it seemed like a genuinely positive step from the league to try and protect its players.

Of course, it was not.

Last year, Democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce found that the NFL was trying to influence the study. The study claimed,

“Our investigation has shown that while the NFL had been publicly proclaiming its role as funder and accelerator of important research, it was privately attempting to influence that research. The NFL attempted to use its ‘unrestricted gift’ as leverage to steer funding away from one of its critics.”

For all of Goodell’s fluffy bullshit about trying to make the game safer, actively trying to influence a study about player safety is some truly evil shit.


Weed policy

A subject very near and dear to our hearts.

Goodell and the NFL have shown time and time again that smoking weed is basically the worst thing you can do as a professional football player (besides protest police brutality).

The commish has handed out season-long suspensions for players like Josh Gordon (remember him?) and Martavis Bryant for multiple weed violations while routinely suspending violent domestic abusers for fewer games.

Yes, I get that there are rules against marijuana use in the league’s collective bargaining agreement. You’re not allowed to smoke a bunch of weed in the NFL, but these rules are ridiculously antiquated and go against basic logic.

NFL players have such a brutal job, one could forgive them for wanting to toke up a little bit after a game. But with the current rules in place, more and more players turn to addictive painkillers and form habits that will haunt them for their playing days and beyond.

Legaliiiiize it.

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