Roger Goodell Remains Confident About NFL Ahead Of Season Openers
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell continued his media tour this week with an appearance Thursday on NFL Network, reiterating that he and other league execs “really feel good about where we are right now” ahead of next Thursday’s season opener. Goodell said, “The testing is remarkably low. It’s working incredibly well. The tracing is working very well. And that's a really a tribute to the NFLPA, to our medical experts.” He anticipates positive tests popping up once the season begins, but said, “The idea here is that we can detect those positives at the earliest possible date and isolate those individuals and make sure that they’re treated properly. Then, obviously, through our tracing, we can find out whether they've had contact that might increase the risk for somebody else.” Goodell also touched on the added social justice efforts taken on by both the league and the players. He said, “We just believe that we can do more, and we have to do more. So this is a call for all of us to do more. I think those initiatives … are real action. They’re hopefully designed to make real change in those communities” (“Good Morning Football,” NFL Network, 9/3).
BLEMISH ON HIS RECORD: ESPN.com's Ian O'Connor writes the fact Washington Owner Daniel Snyder is still in the NFL and Colin Kaepernick is not helps "define the damage Goodell has done to his own legacy." Goodell should have already suspended Snyder following the two Washington Post Post stories released this summer and "should suspend him today" in part because team owners "are supposed to be held to a higher standard than players." While the Colts' Jim Irsay was suspended six games for DWI in '14 and the Panthers' Jerry Richardson was fined in '18, there has been no discipline for the Patriots' Robert Kraft or the Jets' Woody Johnson following recent transgressions. O'Connor: "It's easier to discipline your employees than your employers, especially employers who have granted you the status worthy of an Augusta National membership." Meanwhile, Goodell has "scrambled to earn his paycheck over the past three months by trying to right the league's wrongs over the past four years, dating back to that first summer night Kaepernick decided he wouldn't stand for the anthem of a country that oppresses people of color." However, Goodell's "sudden epiphany is hard to take seriously when measured against his own stance on patriotism eight months after President Trump profanely called for the firing of those taking a knee" (ESPN.com, 9/4).