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#pounditWednesday, September 28, 2022

Articles tagged: Roger Goodell

Jon Gruden says report omitted his vulgar description of Roger Goodell

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden has apologized for the remark he made about DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email, but the Las Vegas Raiders head coach says he also had harsh criticism of other NFL executives and team owners at the time.

Gruden told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen on Friday night that he was “in a bad frame of mind” when he made the comment about Smith. He says his emails were about the 2011 labor disagreement that led to a lockout and that one of them included a vulgar description of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

“I was in a bad frame of mind at the time (in 2011) and I called Roger Goodell a (expletive) in one of these emails, too,” Gruden said. “They were keeping players and coaches from doing what they love with a lockout.”

Gruden, who was with ESPN at the time, said he was also unhappy over some player safety issues.

“I was on a mission with high school football (in the Tampa area) during that time and there were a lot of parents who were scared about letting their kids play football,” he told Mortensen. “It just didn’t sit well with me.”

It’s unclear how many emails were flagged, but Gruden estimates that it was somewhere from five to seven. The 58-year-old seemed to be making the point that he was not singling out Smith, though it’s unlikely his critics will care.

Gruden said in the email that Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA, “has lips the size of michellin tires.” Many interpreted that as a racist remark, though Gruden provided another explanation for the description.

Here is why Roger Goodell refused to postpone Broncos COVID game

Roger Goodell

The NFL seemed intent on making an example out of the Denver Broncos last year when several of the team’s quarterbacks were ruled ineligible for a game due to COVID-19 protocols. We now have a better idea of why the league’s handling of the situation seemed so ruthless.

As you may recall, the Broncos had to start practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback in Week 12 last season. They simply ran out of quarterbacks after Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 and Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles were all deemed close contacts. Rather than postpone the game by a few days, the NFL forced the Broncos to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday as scheduled.

Why? Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times published a lengthy feature on Tuesday that examined the many challenges the NFL faced last season. In the story, he revealed that the NFL denied the Broncos’ request to postpone their game after league officials determined the Broncos tried to “fool the system.”

According to Farmer, surveillance footage revealed that Denver’s quarterbacks all removed their contact tracing devices and put them in four separate corners of the film room. They then sat close to one another while watching film.

John Elway was furious with the NFL. He admitted earlier this year that he hung up on the league office because he was so angry that the game was not postponed.

Later in the season, the Baltimore Ravens dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak and the NFL postponed their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some players were angry that the NFL was flexible for the Ravens but not the Bronocs. The league said at the time that the decision was based on Denver’s COVID situation being more contained than the one with the Ravens. There was clearly more to the story than that.

Mac Jones had funny message for Roger Goodell after being drafted

Mac Jones Roger Goodell

Mac Jones appeared to look anxious as he tumbled down the draft board on Thursday night, but did the former Alabama star get exactly what he wanted?

Jones seemed genuinely thrilled when the New England Patriots drafted him with the 15th overall pick. Many thought he might be disappointed after he was projected to go as high as No. 3 to the San Francisco 49ers, but it sounded like Jones delivered a clear message to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

It wasn’t entirely clear, but it sounded like Jones said “this is what I wanted, don’t tell anybody.” He may have been joking that he didn’t want to offend the 49ers or any other team that was reportedly interested in drafting him.

Aside from the pressure of having to follow in Tom Brady’s footsteps, who wouldn’t want to play for the Patriots? Bill Belichick is arguably the greatest NFL coach of all time. The Patriots have outstanding ownership and are one of the premier franchises in sports. There are far worse spots Jones could have landed, even if he did have to wait longer than he thought.

Heck, Jones and Belichick may even share one hilarious thing in common. Jones has every right to be excited about where he ended up.

NFL bringing back one very familiar aspect of draft for 2021

Roger Goodell

The NFL Draft looked a lot different last year near the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and there will be plenty of restrictions in place still for this year’s event. However, some fans will be happy to hear that bro hugs from the commissioner are back.

During a draft conference call on Friday, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe asked if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be able to high-five and hug players again this year after calling their names on draft day. The short answer is yes, because Goodell is fully vaccinated.

Goodell hosted the NFL’s fully virtual draft last year and announced picks from his basement. An in-person draft will be held this year in Cleveland, with the NFL saying roughly 50,000 fans will be present at the site of the event per day.

Last year’s draft was a success despite some of the extremely bizarre setups teams had. Many questioned whether the NFL should actually hold the event on-schedule, but they managed to pull it off. Between Goodell hugging players and fans in attendance, the 2021 Draft should feel a lot more normal.

Roger Goodell provides optimistic outlook on fan attendance for 2021 season

Roger Goodell

The majority of NFL teams did not allow fans to attend games last season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Roger Goodell is confident the situation will be a lot different in 2021. In fact, the commissioner is optimistic that there will be no limits at all on fan attendance.

In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Goodell said the NFL is expecting to host games in front of full stadiums this fall.

“All of us in the NFL want to see every one of our fans back,” Goodell said, via Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports. “We expect to have full stadiums in the upcoming season.”

The NFL does not have full control over how many fans will be allowed at games; local governments set those guidelines. That is why certain NBA and NHL teams have been allowing fans at games, while others have not.

As of Tuesday, more than 50 million people in the United States had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That is more than 15 percent of the country’s total population. Assuming the pace of distribution remains the same or improves, there should be no reason NFL stadiums can’t operate at full capacity come September.

The NFL hosted more than 1 million fans at events last season. As Goodell noted, there were no known coronavirus outbreaks or major consequences. Hopefully we won’t have to deal with the confusion of cardboard cutouts at the Super Bowl next year.

Roger Goodell dodges Deflategate question while praising Tom Brady

Roger Goodell

It has been more than five years since Roger Goodell made one of his most controversial decisions as NFL commissioner, suspending Tom Brady for four games. On Thursday, Goodell reminded us that the disciplinary action didn’t change his opinion of the six-time Super Bowl champion.

Goodell met with the media at the site of Super Bowl LV, and a reporter asked him if he still believes suspending Brady four games for his alleged role in Deflategate was the right thing to do. Goodell avoided the question and heaped praise on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback.

“Tom Brady has shown that he’s probably the greatest player to ever play the game,” Goodell said, via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “His ability to rise to the big occasions, and I think everybody rises around him. That’s what’s absolutely incredible to me. “

Goodell has been criticized for years over Brady’s suspension. The decision was one of the most polarizing in NFL history, with some people convinced Brady cheated by having equipment managers deflate balls while others believed the entire ordeal was a farce. New England Patriots fans have let Goodell have it every chance they get.

Brady has never really shared his thoughts on Goodell’s role in the Deflategate scandal, though Brady’s father once unloaded on the commissioner.

You have to wonder if Goodell regrets the way it was handled now that Brady remains the face of the NFL years later.

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Roger Goodell addresses talk of NFL using playoff bubble

Roger Goodell

With COVID-19 cases rising across the country, there has been talk of the NFL playoffs potentially being held at one or more bubble locations. As of now, commissioner Roger Goodell says that is not part of the plan.

Goodell told reporters on Wednesday that it’s possible the NFL could have teams limit the number of people who come into contact with players, but the league is not planning to implement a bubble plan like the one we saw with the NBA. Goodell said the NFL is “considering a number of alternatives,” but officials feel strongly about the protocols that are currently in place.

“We don’t see the bubble as most refer to it in one location. We feel strongly our protocols are working,” Goodell said, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “We’re willing to adjust and adapt those protocols, take additional steps. But I don’t see us doing the bubble in the sense that the media focuses on it.”

The Baltimore Ravens have been dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that led to their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers being postponed to Wednesday afternoon. Many have criticized the NFL for not canceling the game or moving it to later in the season. Goodell said Wednesday that health and safety remains the top priority for the league and there is confidence the spread with the Ravens has been contained.

“We postponed the game to ensure we had confidence that the virus was contained. Our medical experts believe they have sufficiently traced the virus, identified high-risk personnel and that we can now safely proceed with the game today,” Goodell explained, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

The NFL formulated a plan for dealing with COVID-19 prior to the season and has stuck to it, despite seemingly endless criticism. Some were bothered that the Ravens-Steelers game was postponed while the Denver Broncos were forced to play without a quarterback on Sunday, but the reasoning behind that makes sense.

Unless something drastic changes in the coming weeks, the NFL is unlikely to implement any type of centralized bubble down the stretch.

Chiefs deny ejecting fan over Roger Goodell clown shirt

Roger Goodell

A fan wearing a T-shirt depicting Roger Goodell as a clown was ejected from Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night, but the Kansas City Chiefs say the fan’s apparel had nothing to do with the decision.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy shared a video during Monday’s game that showed a fan wearing the Goodell clown shirt being escorted out of the stadium.

Barstool, of course, created the shirt. Portnoy, a lifelong New England Patriots fan, has long despised Goodell for the way Deflategate was handled. The Goodell clown shirt has gained popularity in recent years and was even worn by a Patriots coach at one point.

TMZ reached out to the Chiefs to ask about the fan being ejected, and the team insists the Goodell shirt was not the violation committed by the fan.

“I can confirm, the ejection had nothing to do with the shirt the fan was wearing,” a Chiefs representative said.

Goodell was reportedly annoyed with the clown shirt, but we tend to doubt he or any NFL team would outlaw it at games. Although, the commissioner does hate Portnoy so much that he has banned him from games and would not accept a massive charitable donation from him. You never know.

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Eric Reid blasts Roger Goodell, says he should apologize to Colin Kaepernick

Eric Reid

The NFL has drastically changed its stance on social justice protests from years past, but neither Colin Kaepernick nor Eric Reid respect what the league is doing.

On Sunday, Kaepernick tweeted that the NFL is pumping out “propoganda” while Reid, his former teammate, is being blackballed by teams. Reid is 28 and remains a free agent, but Kaepernick feels he is one of the best defensive backs in the league.

Reid returned the favor on Monday. The former San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers safety took to Twitter to rip the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. He said the social justice support that was seen on Sunday was “half-hearted at best.” He also criticized Goodell for never reaching out to Kaepernick to apologize.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been openly opposed to kneeling during the national anthem in the past. However, we even saw a Cowboys player kneel on Sunday.

The NFL has clearly changed its tune from a few years ago, but Kaepernick and Reid don’t feel it is nearly enough. It’s unclear what exactly that are looking for the league to do.

Report: Roger Goodell pushed ‘very hard’ for Washington name change

Roger Goodell

There was a significant external push for Washington to drop the Redskins nickname, but it appears there was an internal push for it as well.

According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pushed Washington owner Dan Snyder “very hard” to change the name. Goodell had been more subtle in previous efforts to get Snyder to drop the name, but decided to go “full force” in light of the current discussion about racism in America.

To be clear, Goodell may have played a part, but external pressure may have been an even bigger factor. Multiple retailers stopped carrying the team’s merchandise, and FedEx, who own the stadium naming rights, also publicly urged the team to drop the nickname. Between the public and private pressure, Snyder was ultimately left with little choice.

We’re still waiting to find out what the new nickname will be, reportedly because there are issues securing the trademark.