The NFL is in free-fall. After two seasons of the disgraceful National Anthem protests, things are only getting worse.
Fans were further outraged when Roger Goodell, commissioner of the league, refused to end the protests by requiring players to stand. Now stadiums are empty and ratings are plummeting.
The league has to take drastic measures to fix the problem, that includes addressing Goodell’s future with the NFL.
But Goodell is clearly desperate, and Americans just drove him to make some demands that could ruin his career and legacy.
Fans—and owners—are outraged, to say the least.
The conflict comes down to Roger Goodell’s pay as commissioner, and the feelings of at least a couple owners that Goodell makes too much money overall and also makes too much guaranteed money. It was reported on November 9 by Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta that owners had proposed a contract for Goodell that was largely non-guaranteed and performance-based, and that Goodell was “furious” about it…
According to a disputed ESPN report, Goodell’s last written counterproposal asked for basically the moon:
The committee will address Goodell’s salary and compensation package. The last written counterproposal from Goodell, which was around the first of August, was seeking about $50 million per year, as well as the lifetime use of a private jet and lifetime health insurance for his family, according to a source familiar with the negotiations…
NFL owners want the bulk of Goodell’s pay to come in the form of performance bonuses, a proposal the commissioner seems to have accepted; Jones, by far the most powerful NFL owner, also wants Goodell’s pay, whatever its specific form, to go down, and is willing to sue the league in order to prevent an undesired outcome; Goodell, meanwhile, wants his pay to go up by $20 million per year, and to include lifetime perks such as use of a private jet.
As the sport continues to suffer, Goodell is demanding a shocking pay increase and other perks. He refuses to end the protests and claw back some respect with the fans. Ratings and attendance is dropping. Goodell is only making things worse, while asking for more money!
The flip side to this is what the owners are demanding. They want Goodell’s contract to be based on performance. If the NFL continues to suffer, he won’t be making those big pay checks. That means he’ll be forced to actually deal with the problems that are hurting the sport. Maybe he’ll actually end the protests by requiring all players to stand. That’ll be a nice change.
If the league gives in to Goodell’s demands, you better believe fans will flip out. Ratings will get worse and the league will suffer for years to come. The only silver lining is the promise that Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys, will sue.
Let’s hope the NFL has more sense than to let that happen.