Since they can’t practice or read playbooks this offseason, NFL players have found a new sport to partake in — bashing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.Derek Mason called him a joke. Hines Ward called him a hypocrite. Ryan Clark implied Goodell is not “a real man” and someone who puts his own fame ahead of the league’s well-being.
Now Amani Toomer says Goodell’s use of power is like the Gestapo. A little harsh, but you get the picture.
Granted, Toomer has been out of the league a while and no longer subject to Goodell’s jurisdiction, but there is definitely an underlying theme of disrespect and disapproval for the Commish. Players don’t like the way the paternalistic way he treats them and — more importantly — they aren’t afraid to say it anymore.
A great deal of the ire comes from Goodell’s unilateral use of the “personal conduct policy” that allows him to punish players for their off-the-field behaviour. It only intensified during last season’s controversy over dangerous hits and skyrocketed with the animosity over the lockout.
It’s true that with the CBA expired, Goodell can’t hurt them in anyway, but sooner or later they’re going to have to go back and work for him. But these are statements you can’t exactly take back. It’s clear that when they do get back to the business, the boss won’t have nearly as many friends as he may have thought he did.
And as any employee can tell you, a boss who isn’t respected is usually a boss who can’t control his workers. And that’s bad for business.