Here is my advice for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell – arrogance and defiance does not work.
Being snippy and combative when asked relevant questions on Friday at your State of the League press conference came across poor. For 48 minutes, I sat and watched and listened and I came away with the idea that you just do not get it. Just as your players engage the fans and build up that trust, so should you. I heard the word “integrity” over and over and over again on Friday. The NFL has lost that. It lost it with the Incognito, Rice and Deflate-gate investigations.
I don’t want to hear the names Ted Wells or Robert Mueller.I want to hear more about Barbara Jones and her decision to vacate the Ray Rice suspension. Jones, with no connection to the NFL, did not paint the NFL in a positive light. You need to realize that even though you have made your owners lots of money, over $10 Billion dollars in revenue in 2013, the perception you have amongst the fans of your sport is that of one who only cares about the bottom line. It does not help when former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue told GQ that, “If they see you making decisions only in economic terms, they start to understand that and question what you’re all about. There’s a huge intangible value in peace. There’s a huge intangible value in having allies.”
At this point, I could run the NFL. Why not? It is a locomotive rolling downhill, gaining more and more momentum. It is the most popular sport in America. Sponsors have not left. By 2025, the Goodell model will have the NFL generating $25 billion dollars in revenue. Put me in charge, I would certainly connect a lot better with my paying customers than Goodell does. Give me have his salary! All I ask for is $22 million a year. Goodell made $44 million last year. Early games in London. Thursday and Monday Night football. Sunday afternoons. I would understand how bad domestic violence is and would not have to see a video to recognize that.
It has been an extremely long year for the NFL Commissioner and he, like all of us, are hoping for better things in 2015. But the arrogance needs to go away. The defiance needs to go away. People question the integrity of the league because their concerns are valid. People question your job status because they are not sure if you are fit to handle every aspect that comes along with being the NFL Commissioner. Everyone is replaceable. There will be an NFL Commissioner after you, Roger. Don’t ever forget that! Don’t forget what makes this game so marketable and so great are the players that put those uniforms on each and every game. Just as the money continues to pour into the NFL, so do the questions for the Commissioner.
Why didn’t you get the video? Why didn’t you understand how bad domestic violence is? Why don’t you get it? Why can’t you see it?
Money makes the world go round. It seems to always be about the green. That is your greatest strength and in the same sentence, your biggest weakness.