Roger Goodell’s Contract Extension Delayed And Overshadowed By National Anthem Debate
The national anthem kneeling debate has spread from NFL stadiums to the announcing booths to the singing of the national anthem at NBA games to cable news shows to the White House. The polarizing issue has even affected Roger Goodell’s contract negotiations.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the national anthem kneeling controversy has become such a vast quandary that it has put Goodell’s contract extension on the backburner. “The anthem issue has overridden everything — and I do mean everything,” a source told Schefter. During the NFL owners meetings in New York last week, only 20 minutes was spent on talking about Goodell’s extension, while the anthem controversy dominated the discussions. There are reports that had the national anthem controversy not existed, there was a very good chance that Goodell would have had a contract renewal last week at the owners meeting.
Despite the delay in Goodell’s contract extension being signed, the renewal of the commissioner’s contract is expected to be completed. The contract extension will allegedly still happen despite some worrying declines in the NFL’s overall brand.
The contentious matter that has noticeably affected TV ratings, merchandise sales, and the overall popularity of the league. NFL ratings for the first six weeks of the 2017 season are 18.7% worse than the first six weeks of the 2015 season. A Winston Group poll of males aged 34-54 found the favorability of the NFL dropped from 73% favorable rating in August to only 42% favorable rating in September. A Yahoo Finance poll found that 36% of NFL fans said they planned to buy less NFL merchandise.
There is plenty of time to hammer out a new deal since Goodell’s current contract runs through 2019. Roger received an extension in 2012, which paid him $44.2 million that year, $35 million in 2013, $34.1 million in 2014, and $31.7 million in 2015. The NFL made $14 billion in revenue in 2016.