When’s the last time you took a good, hard look at the NFL’s Mission Statement?
Unlike any upstanding business, the NFL doesn’t rank ethics or morals as the deciding factor of their operations. As evident from their mission statement, the NFL is dedicated to international growth.
“To present the National Football League and its teams at a level that attracts the broadest audience and makes NFL football the best sports entertainment in the world.”
In their statement, the NFL goes on to claim they will achieve this mission through their core values of Integrity, Performance and Teamwork, Tradition and Innovation, Diversity and Learning.
The vaguest of all these values, of course, is Integrity.
The league also claims they are steadfast towards being “honest and direct,” and to create an environment that “inspires trust and confidence.”
This may be strikingly obvious, but the NFL doesn’t pay attention to these seemingly irrelevant bullet points.
Through their simple mission statement or just everyday actions, the NFL has made one thing very clear: their number one priority is to become “the best sports entertainment in the world.” And as we’ve seen, they will stop at nothing to make that happen.
Just in case you missed Roger Goodell’s press conference last week, don’t worry. You didn’t miss much.
“A lot of people were hoping Goodell was going to walk onto that podium and atone for past mistakes by taking on a true leadership role in the fight against domestic violence, become the example of zero tolerance. When we didn’t get that, a lot of the journalists in that room had some tough questions about why.” – Rachel Nichols, CNN
In his pointless session with the media, Roger Goodell simply reiterated the fact he doesn’t take outsiders seriously. And this was echoed even more by his responses to Nichols’ questions.
“Here’s the thing about the NFL – we love football in this country. I love football, otherwise I wouldn’t have dedicated much of my life to covering it. That’s the reason I had such a high standard for wanting good answers…I think it’s okay we demand it (the NFL) live up to being the best it can be.” – Rachel Nichols, CNN
The NFL needs Roger Goodell in the same way that a department store needs a mannequin. He serves no greater purpose than a crash-test dummy serves at a Chrysler dealership. And he brings about as much transparency to the NFL as a hot needle would bring to an eyeball.
There’s enough quotes bashing Goodell around the internet that you could write a novel comparing him to everything evil. And thanks to the NFL’s unprecedented blockade from the real world, this rhyme is not far from being written.
I can handle stepping in dog-shit. I can handle getting dumped. I can handle being called selfish, annoying, fat or lazy. One way or another, I can handle just about anything that life decides to crap out and serve up on a silver platter.
But I can’t stand being called stupid.
The word vomit that spewed from Roger Goodell’s lying mouth on Friday wasn’t “direct,” and it certainly wasn’t “honest.”
It was a fabrication. It was a pre-narrated bundle of buzz-words and exit strategies crafted by an entire department of public relations experts.
In a brilliant translation of Goodell’s automated response to every question, HBO’s John Oliver accurately summarized Friday’s cacophony:
“And in so saying I’ve effectively made sounds which when put together constitute words which can then be turned into sentences that make noise that travel into your ears, and that’s 45 minutes – I’ve done it!” – John Oliver
I’m not calling for Roger Goodell’s head, and I’m not calling him a socialist (although I would definitely call him a sociopath).
I’m not saying Roger Goodell is stupid, because he’s not. A stupid person cannot run the NFL for seven years, but a smart person can certainly cover up a decades worth of conspiracy. As ESPN commentator Andy Kamenetzky put it to Larry King, “From the outset, they’ve botched the way I think any logical person would think ‘how should we handle this situation with Ray Rice?‘”
Roger Goodell is a smart man. But then again, so was Hitler.
My biggest problem with Roger Goodell isn’t that he’s stupid. It’s that he thinks we’re stupid. By disgracing our awareness for common sense and dismissing our desire for the truth, Roger Goodell has essentially admitted his biggest flaw of all over the last few weeks.
Nobody is rooting for Roger Goodell. Nobody is cheering for him on the sideline, and nobody is looking for him when they turn on their TV every Sunday.
The league doesn’t need Roger Goodell, he just needs the NFL.
Whether it’s his bogus dedication to “protecting the shield” or the just the self-righteous puss that is suffocating his common sense, Roger Goodell doesn’t care about popular opinion. Or opinion in general.
In a moment when fans, sponsors and journalists were hoping for anything resembling a sign of mortality from Roger Goodell, the NFL’s coward-like commissioner merely squirmed into another layer of self-righteousness. During his first press conference with the media since the unfolding of the Ray Rice scandal, his inability to answer one single question with an ounce of clarity all but validated what the country is beginning to think.
He doesn’t take the media seriously. He doesn’t take the fans seriously. And he doesn’t even take his own mission statement seriously.
Roger Goodell thinks we are ants. He believes we are slaves to entertainment, chained by our addiction to Sundays filled with Doritos, Papa Johns, and Coors Light – the official beer of the NFL.
If the writing was painted on his wall, Roger Goodell wouldn’t read it. He lives in an exclusive world of his own, fueled by revenue and bitch-made by greed.
Roger Goodell doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t care about me. And he most certainly doesn’t care about integrity.
Frankly, I’m not sure what Roger Goodell cares about. I’m not sure what he’s after. And I’m especially not sure what he believes in.
Because if a man can’t stand for truth, what can he stand for?