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Roger Goodell defends Washington Redskins name in letter to Congress

Washington Redskins helmetNFL commissioner Roger Goodell defended the Washington Redskins team name in a recent letter he wrote to Congress, which was revealed to the public on Tuesday. As you know, the Redskins name has garnered a lot of attention over the past year or so as some consider “redskin” to be a racist term. Goodell’s letter was in response to several members of Congress writing him to request that the name be changed.

In the letter, Goodell argued that the nickname was never meant to “denigrate Native Americans or offend any group.” He also included research polls claiming that there are many Native Americans who do not find the name offensive. Despite his argument, Goodell was still ripped by co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus Betty McCollum, who said he used “twisted logic.”

“Goodell’s letter is another attempt to justify a racial slur on behalf of [Redskins owner] Dan Snyder and other NFL owners who appear to be only concerned with earning even larger profits, even if it means exploiting a racist stereotype of Native Americans,” McCollum said. “Would Roger Goodell and Dan Snyder actually travel to a Native American community and greet a group of tribal leaders by saying, ‘Hey, what’s up redskin?’ I think not.”

Snyder insisted last month that his franchise is never going to change its nickname, but eventually it will become impossible to ignore the outrage. Very few deny that “redskin” is a racist term, and clearly Goodell’s letter did little to help the team’s cause. It may take a while, but the NFL is eventually going to get backed into a corner it can’t get out of.

Roger Goodell reportedly ‘terrified’ that a player will die on the field

Roger GoodellRoger Goodell is the commissioner of a sports league that pulls in billions of dollars in revenue every single year. He introduced a personal conduct policy for the league, he stands up to the players when he thinks they’ve done wrong, and he isn’t afraid to levy punishments where he sees fit. But the one thing Goodell reportedly is fearful of is a death occurring on the field. Not just because of the tragedy aspect, but because of the way it could threaten the business.

Don Van Natta Jr. had a lengthy profile of Goodell for ESPN’s Outside the Lines, and he says in his piece that one of Goodell’s greatest fears is a death on the field.

“He’s terrified of it,” a Hall of Fame player who speaks regularly with Goodell reportedly told Van Natta.

“It wouldn’t just be a tragedy. It would be awfully bad for business,” the player told Van Natta.

The NFL has regularly pulled in $8 billion in revenue and will likely exceed that amount in 2013. The highest-rated shows on television are almost always football games. Goodell has an enormous business to protect.

Though Goodell is worried about a death occurring on the field, many of his practices would suggest otherwise. He only emphasized player safety after being faced with pressure from concussion lawsuits by former players. He didn’t even seem too concerned with player safety until he was brought to Capitol Hill in 2009 and presented with the dangers of concussions. Additionally, why would someone who understands the dangers of the game try to add two more games to the regular season as Goodell has done?

We have seen plenty of players paralyzed as a result of hits during games, and that is always extremely rough to see. We sure as heck hope nobody ever dies on the field, and not because of the damage that would do to league business.

UPDATE: Goodell has denied saying that.

H/T Game On!
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Jonathan Vilma’s restaurant has signs saying not to serve Roger Goodell (Picture)

Roger Goodell is probably one of those people that doesn’t have to call ahead to make reservations at a fancy restaurant. Goodell makes millions of dollars a year and is a celebrity among the sports community. One restaurant that we know for certain he wouldn’t need a reservation at is Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in Miami. The reason being? He’s not welcome there.

Brother Jimmy’s is owned by former Hurricanes Jonathan Vilma, Jon Beason and D.J. Williams. As you can see from the photo above that @ALLIN1PRO shared on Twitter, there are signs featuring Goodell’s mug hanging on the restaurant windows that read “DO NOT SERVE THIS MAN.”

Of course, Vilma despises Goodell for suspending him for a full year in the wake of the Saints bounty scandal. He has taken legal action against the NFL in an attempt to be reinstated, but to this point there is no indication that the decision will be reversed or softened in any way. At least keeping Goodell out of his restaurant is something Vilma can control.

H/T Game On!

Roger Goodell: American football should ‘absolutely’ be an Olympic sport

Over the past several years, the NFL has been working to grow the sport of American football internationally by holding regular season games in London. For the most part, the games have been a success. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says it won’t be long before the NFL is holding two regular season games a year in London and possibly even more.

“Our point is just to keep growing the game,” Goodell said during an interview with guest host Mike Florio on the Dan Patrick Show. “We’re having a tremendous reaction in London and the UK for the game of football, our regular season game over there is sold out again this year, we are seriously contemplating as early as 2013 playing two NFL games next season and I think we’ll do that. It’s a response to the tremendous fan reaction and the growth of the game. If we can continue to grow the game there and have the fan reaction that we have, there very well may be a franchise in London.”

But that’s not all. Goodell is hoping the fan reaction to the NFL abroad will be so strong that the game eventually grows to a point where it becomes an Olympic sport. While that may seem unfathomable at the moment, all Olympic sports have to start somewhere.

“Absolutely. We’re already taking steps to gain that IOC recognition,” Goodell said when asked about the potential of American football becoming an Olympic sport. “We have, I think, 64 countries that are playing American football now, and that’s one of the requirements. That’s been growing dramatically — I think it was 40 just five years ago.”

Other countries may play American football, but none take it nearly as seriously as the United States. If American football ever was added as an Olympic sport, the US would completely dominate it for years. After seeing what Team USA did to Nigeria on the basketball court Thursday, it would be silly to say that it is impossible for American football to ever become an Olympic sport. It’s not like lopsided sports don’t exist in international competition.

Jeremy Shockey rips Roger Goodell in Twitter rant about health of NFL players

As the issue of concussions and head injuries in the NFL becomes more prevalent, so too do the discussions about it on Twitter. On Sunday night, Jeremy Shockey decided to get in on the act by preaching about the negative effects playing football has on the health of players.

He is not the first player to do this and won’t be the last, but what was particularly interesting about Shockey’s rant was the way he ripped Roger Goodell and basically accused him of lying to players for the benefit of the game. Here are a few of the tweets.

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Roger Goodell became Wyatt Earp penalizing Saints for their bounty program

Have you ever found yourself sitting around, lamenting about the good old days, when bounties were prevalent and harsh justice was being served? Well, perhaps now would be a good time to get that bowler hat out of storage. If you missed it, last week brought some degree of closure to a story that was the pigskin equivalent of “Unforgiven.” The Duke of Death purportedly was played by a guy who spells the name Greg with an extra ‘g’.

The disclosure of the Saints’ tomfoolery involving paying players bonuses to harm opposing players could have easily been filed under the name “No Country for Old Men” since it was revealed that the system was put into place into 2009 around the time when the Saints were steamrolling veteran quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Brett Favre in the playoffs, forcing them into premature NFL-AARP status. This policy was in place for at least three seasons. If nothing else, at least I know have a scapegoat for my recent fantasy football failures: The notorious nattering nabobs of negativism Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton, and Gregg Williams should have been fined an extra fifty dollars in a vain attempt for me to recoup my fantasy losses.

The notion of bounties conjures up images of the Old West — the actual West that is, not the one that the NFL conceived of in the 1970s that included New Orleans, Atlanta, and at one point, North Carolina and St. Louis. One week ago, Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped into the role of Wyatt Earp. Nope, there was no OK Corral, but he did play on the Crescent City’s acronym by declaring a hearty “N-O” to the Saints’ shenanigans.

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Ndamukong Suh Tweets a Picture of Roger Goodell’s Coin Collection

Now that the Lions are out of the playoff, it is time to begin preparing for next season. For most, that means staying in shape and sticking to a strict workout routine. For someone like Ndamukong Suh, that can also include buttering up the NFL commissioner in preparation of another season full of illegal stomps and players complaining about the way you play. The only problem Suh ran into this week when he stopped by to pay Roger Goodell a visit is that the commish wasn’t in. Naturally, Suh took the opportunity to look around at some of his things and share them with the world. Check out this picture of Goodell’s coin collection that Suh tweeted out on Tuesday:

There you have it. Goodell is a coin collector.  I’m not sure he wanted everyone to know the kinds of valuables he keeps in his office, but it’s too late for that now.  Better put an extra lock on the door.