In the debate for a new agreement between the NFLPA* and the owners, Roger Goodell has remained an awkward entity alongside the negotiation. In many other circumstances, the league commissioner would be working hard to make sure that both parties could come to an agreement because it's kind of his job. Instead, Goodell has aligned himself completely with the owners, isolating himself from the players. It's fine that he's with the owners, because they're the ones who elected him commissioner, but his actions have shown that he's not focused on fixing the league.
The players don't want Goodell to be a part of the negotiations, acting as a middle man between the owners and the locked out players. The owners are willing to negotiate without him. Goodell and his party of lawyers are sitting in the middle, but leaning heavily towards one side, while continuing to stall discussions. Well, Goodell is now appealing to the capitalists of the world, via an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, to support a communist organization. The irony.
It's clear that he's hoping to convince those who don't really follow football, and he cherry picks comments to sort of prove his argument. He discusses his hyperbolic worries associated with the approval to dissolve the players' union. Some beauties from the article (emphasis my own):
• No minimum player salary. Many players could earn substantially less than today's minimums.
• No standard guarantee to compensate players who suffer season- or career-ending injuries. Players would instead negotiate whatever compensation they could.
• No league-wide agreements on benefits. The generous benefit programs now available to players throughout the league would become a matter of individual club choice and individual player negotiation.
It's clear that either Goodell is pretending he doesn't understand whats going on, or he legitimately doesn't know what's going on.The commissioner is spending time "fear mongering" as opposed to working out a deal with the players. He's counting the potential outcomes from a worst case scenario, that the players themselves don't want. The players would rather go back and play the season under the old rules while new ones are hammered out, yet it seems as if Goodell wants the public to believe that the players are unreasonable and want extreme working conditions. The fact that Goodell is supporting a union, the collective of workers who are supposed to help get the players more than they're worth, shows that the owners had a fantastic deal with the players. No owner wants to deal with a union, unless they're getting the bright side of a deal.
Goodell knows that his support comes from the owners and, without them, he's out of a job. However, he's reaching so far towards one side, he's preventing an agreement from happening. He's playing to the general population, as opposed to the players. Mike Vrabel was right when he said that the negotiations needed to happen without Goodell present; he's not helping the situation. In the debate between the players and the owners, there's no room for a cheerleader in the room.
Goodell needs to stop worrying about how the league is framing this situation and just deal with the problem. Don't write opinion pieces- honestly, we don't care. We just want football. Attempting to appeal to the capitalists of the world (myself included) is ridiculous, given the circumstances. If Goodell wanted to speak out as a backer of the unions and wanted to prevent a free market, I feel like the Wall Street Journal was a poor place to try and gain supporters.
Knock it off Goodell; you're not helping. Instead of presenting doomsday scenarios, give us some football.