NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is no doubt hoping that the 2015 season that kicks off this Thursday, September 10, will be better than the last football season. Over the past year, Goodell, who earned $44 million, has been under fire for mishandling a host of issues within the NFL—from the Ray Rice domestic abuse and Adrian Peterson child abuse cases to the fiasco that has become Deflategate. There have also been numerous leaks out of the Commissioner’s office and several embarrassing gaffes. A court throwing out Tom Brady’s four game suspension last week was just the latest turn of events to leave Roger Goodell with egg on his face. Not surprising that many pundits and commentators are now calling for Roger Goodell to be fired. And we here are Goliath tend to agree with that viewpoint. So here are six reasons why Roger Goodell should be removed from his lucrative post as NFL Commissioner.
6. Roger Goodell Keeps Getting it Wrong
From Ray Rice punching his girlfriend out in an elevator, to Adrian Peterson whipping his child with a switch, and Tom Brady’s balls being too soft, Roger Goodell continually mishandles almost every disciplinary issue that crosses his desk. Worse, he appears to be out of touch with both NFL fans and the public at large on these issues. From giving Ray Rice a two game suspension for knocking his fiancée out cold, to upholding Tom Brady’s four game suspension only to see the whole thing vacated by a judge on appeal, Roger Goodell consistently appears to be out of touch with the consensus view of Americans. If it were one or even two instances of getting a punishment wrong, that would be one thing. But Roger Goodell and his office have screwed up seemingly every disciplinary case they’ve been involved with. Not good.
5. He’s Making it Up As He Goes Along
One of the reasons why Roger Goodell has messed up so many disciplinary cases in the past year is because his office seems to be making the rules up as they go. The Commissioner’s team rewrote the NFL’s policy on domestic violence after a shocking video tape surfaced of Ray Rice punching his fiancée in the head, and they also recently tried to equate Tom Brady being “generally aware” of his underinflated footballs to using steroids. Never mind that the penalty for a first offense related to tampering with equipment had always been a fine. The Commissioner and his advisors decided to use Tom Brady, arguably the game’s biggest star, as an example to show they were defending the integrity of the game. This fly by the seat of your pants approach shows that Roger Goodell is making things up as he goes along and does not have the control he needs to effectively run the league.
4. Roger Goodell is Focused on the Wrong Things
Remember Super Bowl week when Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was repeatedly fined for not talking to reporters at scheduled times and wearing his own baseball hat rather than league-approved outerwear? Remember when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fined $10,000 for wearing the wrong set of headphones at a press conference? While the NFL repeatedly gets the big and important stuff wrong, they go out of their way to police and punish little things that seem trivial in the grand scheme of things—namely merchandise and every opportunity for NFL teams to make money. This focus on fining players over not having their socks pulled up properly during a game or not having a team logo in a visible enough location is one of the reasons why the league is floundering. Focus on what matters rather than sweating the small stuff.
3. He’s Not in Control of His Office and Advisors
One of the things that people have criticized Roger Goodell the most over is the fact that he does not seem to have control over his office and the people who work for him. In the last year, the Commissioner’s office has been responsible for a host of leaks that have not been helpful and only served to make Roger Goodell and his staff look, at worst, incompetent and, at best, vindictive. From leaking that Tom Brady destroyed his cell phone to the fact that 11 of 12 footballs used by the New England Patriots in January’s AFC Championship game were underinflated, the Office of the Commissioner seems to be filled with unscrupulous executives, advisors and hangers on who will do anything to protect themselves and Roger Goodell while screwing over players and teams. This kind of self-serving behavior and internal politics is a clear sign of rot within Roger Goodell’s office.
2. Roger Goodell Has Become a Pariah in the Eyes of the Public
He should be protecting the NFL shield and the integrity of the game, but instead Roger Goodell has become a symbol for everything that is wrong with professional sports today. From his overpriced salary and focus on money above all else, to his mishandling of disciplinary matters and the increasing amount of misconducts committed by NFL players, Roger Goodell is the poster boy for sports run amok. And while the NFL is more popular today than ever before, is the league really better than in years past? In the past five years, a total of 12 current and former NFL players have committed suicide—including Hall of Famer Junior Seau. Countless more players have been arrested and incarcerated for everything from drugs and reckless driving to assault and murder. The NFL certainly hasn’t cleaned up its act under Roger Goodell’s watch. And the public seems to have had enough. A poll conducted by the Associated Press last week found only 22 percent of people thought Roger Goodell should remain as NFL Commissioner.
1. He’s Losing the Trust of NFL Owners
It’s one thing if Roger Goodell loses the public’s trust, but it’s another thing entirely if he loses the trust of the NFL owners who keep him in his job. And with all the embarrassments that have occurred over the past year, many owners in the league are reportedly turning on the Commissioner. Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft was one of Roger Goodell’s staunchest allies. But not after Deflategate. Many other owners are also reported to be souring on the man they pay nearly $50 million a year to run the league and increase their profits. You know it’s bad when the NFL Commissioner has to skip the opening game of the season as Roger Goodell is doing this Thursday, September 10, when the New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers to start the 2015 campaign. It will be the first time in NFL history when a league Commissioner has not been present for the season’s inaugural game. When the Commissioner cannot show his face at a league game, you know it’s time for a change.