Part I - Roger Goodell Needs to be Fired for Incompetency and Treason

By Steve Lee - Special to EGN |August 25, 2015 | Roger Goodell, an economics degree holder from an indiscriminate eastern college who ros...

By Steve Lee - Special to EGN |August 25, 2015 |

Roger Goodell, an economics degree holder from an indiscriminate eastern college who rose through the ranks at the NFL office in New York to become current NFL Commissioner, has damaged “The Shield” (the official NFL logo) in his short nine-year tenure enough to warrant the owners to demand his immediate resignation. It has been coming for quite some time.

Goodell, whose dad was appointed to replace Senator Robert Kennedy, upon his 1968 assassination, first landed an NFL job in 1983 as an intern for the New York Jets. These would be the same New York Jets that fight for a playoff berth yearly against the current World Champion New England Patriots. Perhaps that is a subconscious motive Goodell may have for trying to undermine the reputation of a player that has become every little boy’s dream; to come from nowhere and become the greatest. Oh yeah, become a millionaire and marry a super model as well.

Goodell became NFL Commissioner in August, 2006, after acting as NFL Executive VP and COO since 2001. Recently, Business Week stated that he is the “Most powerful man in sports.” His duties as Executive VP included oversight of the NFL officials, a fact that may become important below.

In 2007, shortly after taking office, Goodell put in place the “NFL Personal Conduct Policy” in attempt to deter players from acting inappropriately and damaging “The Shield.” Goodell stated at the time that his primary responsibility was to “protect the integrity of the game” and to “making it safer.”
Justice, Roger Goodell style. 

Unfortunately for Goodell, his players seem to be keeping national crime beat reporters busy with their off-field exploits at an alarming rate with no end in sight. Ray McDonald, formerly of the 49ers, and his spousal abuse allegations are a regional example. Yes, allegations, that’s plural. Let’s not forget All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson was arrested for “reckless or negligent injury to a child,” his four-year old son in Texas. TMZ published photos of slashes on the child’s legs, buttocks and back from a tree branch. Peterson was suspended in November for the remainder of the 2014 season only after the TMZ report was made public.

There’s Adam “Pacman” Jones and his drug, weapons, assault history culminating in paralyzing a Las Vegas patron in a shootout he was involved in. Two-time Super Bowl quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 2009, had his penalty of a six game suspension reduced to four games for allegedly sexually assaulting two different women. He was never charged with a crime although he reached out-of-court settlements with the accusers. In 2013, Patriot’s tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder of his friend by gunshot. He was convicted in 2015.

Entire teams and administrators aren’t outside the commissioner’s wrath. In 2007, The New England Patriots were found to be illegally videotaping the Jets defensive signals during the 2007 season opener. Goodell dealt harshly for that conduct, fining both the team owner and head coach $500,000 and taking away a first round draft pick. The incident became known as “Spygate.”

In 2012, “Bountygate” was uncovered. Seemingly, the New Orleans Saints coaches had allowed money to exchange hands if a defensive player were to knock an opposing player out of the game. The head coach and defensive coordinator were suspended without pay for an entire season. Players were also suspended and a fee and draft picks were also lost.

This was followed by the NFL official’s lockout at the beginning of the 2012 season. The commissioner’s words of making the sport safer and protecting the players were thrown back into his face as high school and lower echelon college officials ruled over NFL games the first two weeks of the season. The NFLPA pressured Goodell into reaching accord with the officials as they pointed out game’s integrity and the safety of its players were challenged by the use of replacement refs.

Despite these embarrassments, the public disillusioned related to Goodell’s tenure as commissioner originally crested in 2014 when Goodell issued a two-game suspension for Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens running back, for his beatdown of his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City casino elevator. For those of you living on another planet during the winter of 2014, he punched her into unconsciousness and dragged out of the elevator by her hair. The event was captured on hotel video. Interestingly, Sports Illustrated and the AP documented that a copy of the video was sent to the NFL offices shortly after the event occurred, but Goodell claimed on CBS News that September the NFL offices never received the copy. Many claimed the NFL had attempted to “cover up” the video and to keep any knowledge of it from the public, knowing it would be a blow to “The Shield.”

The two game suspension quickly turned into an “indefinite” suspension once TV tabloid TMZ obtained and posted the video for all to see. However, the NFL’s suspension was overturned on appeal. One of many setbacks the NFL has suffered during Goodell’s tenure.
Once the video was released to the public many media and domestic violence advocates, as Goodell feared, called for his resignation for mishandling of the entire Rice fiasco. A U.S. senator, as well as the leader of the National Organization of Women called for his resignation as did former ESPN commentator Keith Olberman. A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle stated, “His (Goodell’s) leadership has no integrity and can no long be trusted by the public. He should resign.”

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