By title, by definition, Roger Goodell holds all the power in the NFL. He is the commissioner. Commissioners accomplishments go unnoticed, their mistakes get heavily criticized (read: Saints bounty scandal). With that position, you’re bound to make a handful of enemies, player, or fan.
Goodell has been skewered by the press, bad-mouthed by players, and booed by fans. A position once held with high regard is now viewed with great disdain. Goodell’s intentions have been good, but the way he handles them haven’t been well-received. There has been a big disconnect between him and the players when it comes to his iron-fist ruling and player due process. He’s also had to deal with the disastrous replacement refs, a lockout, lawsuits, player fines, rule changes and bounties.
Then there’s the question of player safety: How does one make a game, known for its violence and brutality, safer? Well, for starters, you don’t try to extend the season by two more games then preach safety first.
So when it was reported by USA Today that 61 percent of NFL players disapproved of the job Goodell has done so far, it comes as no surprise. It comes with the territory.
If it wasn’t the discontent for the way he handled the bounty scandal, it’s his heavy fines and how unevenly he distributes them–look at Brady’s $10,000 fine for karate kicking at Ed Reed’s knee. But didn’t Chicago Bears’ Earl Bennett get fined more just for wearing orange cleats?
Not exactly fair, is it?
But he is the commissioner. Love him or hate him, he has does have the final say, and does have control of a sport that is followed by millions.