There is a definite power struggle happening in the NFL right now.
Players think they’re the most valuable part of the league, but they wouldn’t be playing very long without the team owners’ John Hancock on their checks.
And in a surprising turn, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally said something we’ve all been waiting to hear.
Commissioner Goodell appears to be in tumultuous waters.
Many owners are tired of Goodell and his lack of leadership, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is suing to prevent him from signing his contract extension.
Allegedly, Jones has also called other owners – including Patriots owner Robert Kraft who was upset about Goodell’s handling of the deflate-gate scandal – to get them on his side.
Goodell’s lack of leadership on the anthem protests is pretty clear since players are still kneeling.
So finally, Goodell at least made a small gesture towards the millions of fans who are furious over these anti-American protests.
MSN Sports reports:
“NFL commissioner Roger Goodell perhaps made his strongest remarks regarding the league’s national anthem protest controversy by stating, “People come to our stadiums to be entertained and have fun, not to be protested to.”
Goodell was a speaker at Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead Summit in New York on Wednesday, and to no surprise the polarizing anthem protest issue was addressed.
Goodell opened his remarks by expressing a preference for players to stand during the anthem.
“I think that’s one of the things I think when we have a platform the way we do people seek to find that division and I think that’s something we try to resist,” Goodell said, via SB Nation.
“And in this case I’ve been very clear about this — the anthem, the respect for our flag is very important. So I want to see our players stand.”
Goodell’s comments at the forum echo what he said in October about the protest issue.
Goodell stated at the time the NFL would not ban players from protesting during the anthem but would continue to “encourage them to stand.”
Goodell also reiterated during the summit that the NFL prefers to avoid politics, a sentiment he has previously expressed, especially in light of President Donald Trump waging an all-out-war with the league over the issue.
“I think you’re getting into something, getting into politics is not something we do,” Goodell said. “Values aren’t necessarily about politics.
Values are the way you do things and I think we want to make sure we do things at the highest standards. And I think people expect us to.”
Goodell sought to highlight how the league’s owners attempt to heed player concerns on issues such as social justice and community-based activism.”
But Trump wasn’t “waging an all-out-war” with the league over this issue; he was simply saying what was on the American people’s minds and expected the owners to take action.
Unfortunately, no matter how you try to dress it up, as long as these protests persist, the NFL will have to accept the consequences.