Anyone who agrees to serve as the commissioner of a professional sports league knows they’re accepting a position with a job description that includes a clause requiring them to be willing and able to cope with being almost universally despised by the fans who will shower them with boos whenever the opportunity presents itself.
With that said, it’s much easier to deal with that aspect of the role when you’re getting paid the ungodly amount of money that comes with overseeing daily operations, and I think most people would be more than happy to put up with the abuse commissioners are routinely subjected to if they were getting paid tens of millions of dollars every year.
It appeared Roger Goodell had caught a bit of a break when the NFL was forced to pivot to a virtual draft this year, as his decision to announce picks while chilling in his basement meant he’d be able to avoid the jeers he’s usually treated to unless a particularly devoted hater tunneled into his house to honor the tradition.
However, he exhibited some self-awareness and a great sense of humor when he partnered with Bud Light to get booed for both our enjoyment and a good cause, which was a pretty solid move on his part.
A lot of people were wondering if Goodell had started hitting the bottle based on the state he was in toward the end of the second night of the draft, and while he may not have been one of the many Americans who’ve been drinking while working from home, I’d argue he gets a pass if he was when you consider Adam Schefter reports he was doing it for free after recently opting to forgo his salary for the immediate future.
Goodell was reportedly in a position to take home upwards of $40 million this year, and while the NFL didn’t provide an official explanation, you don’t have to read too far into the move to assume he’s forfeiting his pay in order to provide his employees with a bit more security during these incredibly uncertain times.
I’m sure some people will try to figure out a way to criticize him but I don’t know how anyone can hate on a gesture as impressive as this.