As we previously discussed, Roger Goodell’s contract is coming to an end and he’s looking for a five-year extension. Given everything that’s been going on lately, you might expect that the guy would be a bit on the humble side right about now. Perhaps he could manage to squeeze through for a while longer on his meager $30M per year salary.
Apparently not, sports fans. Our colleague Timothy Meads at Town Hall reports that Roger has a few demands to make before he agrees to grace the league office with his presence for another half-decade. And it’s not going to come cheaply.
National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell is asking for a raise to the tune of nearly $50 million per year, a lifetime use of a private jet, as well as lifetime health insurance for himself and his family, according to ESPN.
This request comes off the heels of one of the most boggled public relations stories of all time – the NFL’s failure to properly address players who choose to kneel during the national anthem as a way to highlight police brutality. While certain players maintain that demonstration is not about disrespecting the military, hundreds of thousands of fans see it differently.
Today, a Facebook group alone had a quarter of a million people pledge to protest the NFL by refusing to watch games in honor of Veterans Day weekend.
Just to get the required disclaimers out of the way up front, the NFL is a private, for-profit organization. Goodell is not a government employee (though the NFL does benefit greatly from taxpayer funded subsidies when new stadiums are constructed, but that’s a story for another day). He’s entitled to grab for all the gold he can legally lay his hands on and if the owners decide he’s worth it, that’s entirely their business.
With all of that said… c’mon, man. Do you know who else in the NFL brings home $50M per year? Nobody. The highest paid coaches in the league are making $8M. (For the Saints and the Seahawks.) Among the players, Matthew Stafford is bringing down the most, but even if you amortize out his signing bonus he’s not hauling in that much. That’s a simply insane amount of money.
And if you’re going to expect a stratospheric salary like that, shouldn’t you be performing above and beyond expectations? We’re in week ten of the season now and many of the stadiums were still half empty yesterday. The ratings for the games are still falling, sitting well below the averages in recent years. And that plague is spilling over to the pregame shows and other NFL based programming. ESPN has taken the biggest hit and that’s probably not a coincidence given their surging lunge to the political left this year.
Is all of this directly Goodell’s fault? Probably not, since much of it originated with the players deciding to play politics before football. But he’s the one at the helm of the ship and it was his responsibility to stop the bleeding quickly and get things back on track. That obviously hasn’t happened and the welfare of the game is suffering for it.
Is this really the time to ask for a 66% raise? And… a guarantee of a private jet for the rest of his life? (To say nothing of lifetime healthcare coverage for his entire family, no doubt on a gold standard plan.) As I said, if the owners want to knuckle under and give him all of that goodness, that’s up to them. And Goodell would be foolish to leave money on the table. But the optics are incredibly bad at a time when so many of the fans are already giving the league the side-eye.
Your first responsibility is supposed to be to the good of the game, Roger. For that kind of money you need to be doing a lot better.