No matter who your favorite team in the National Football League is, on days ending in the letter “y,” everyone should actively root against Roger Goodell.
On September 1, 2006, Goodell became the commissioner of the NFL and has since almost run the league into the ground. From disrespecting the fans to not taking care of his players, he has shown incompetence and a consistent tendency of neglecting those he is supposed to protect. In the NBA draft, people boo Adam Silver because it’s a funny tradition, but they do not honestly mean it. In the NFL, whenever Goodell is present, they boo him so loud that the noise is deafening because he has done a poor job.
Goodell is the Richard Nixon, the Pete Rose, and the Sepp Blatter of the NFL – yet he somehow still has a job and in this year will probably make more money than I will for the next ten years of my life. Not only did he try to cover up Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and concussions in football, he has promoted a culture where players have to fend for themselves not only on the field but for the rest of their careers. The game has not been made safer and youth participation is down, even though revenue and money are way up. Goodell has been a commissioner only for the millionaires and owners, not for the players or the everyday fans. The NFL is now the “no fun league,” as even touchdown celebrations are now subject to a 15 yard penalty.
One of the best sports columnists in the U.S. right now, Bill Simmons, went on a famous tirade over Goodell and lost his job as a result. Simmons was making the point that Goodell is corrupt, and that he has the tendency to fight with his own players, including James Harrison and Tom Brady. Even as a Giants fan, I can say that Tom Brady’s situation was handled poorly, although his legacy will not be tainted as a result.
The CTE and Brady dilemmas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Goodell’s mishandlings of disciplinary situations, as he suspends players longer for smoking marijuana than he does players who commit domestic violence. Goodell was wrong with Brady’s case, the Al Jazeera findings, CTE, Greg Hardy, the replacement refs, and maybe most importantly with the Ray Rice Situation. After actively denying that the NFL had not seen the video where Rice slugs his wife in the elevator, it was proven that the NFL had the tape and did nothing with it. The NFL had the chance to make a statement and suspend Rice indefinitely, but instead Goodell did what he always does, which is the wrong thing. History will remember the NFL during Goodell’s time as one of controversy and problems, as he is one of the worst owners in sports history. He somehow makes Vince McMahon look like he knows what he is doing.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.