Roger Goodell Flips Controversial Anthem Ruling Into Quick NFL Cash

    Theres a reason why Roger Goodell makes almost $40 million annually and despite his many criticisms as a communicator, his business acumen has lined the owners’ pockets with wads of cash. He owns the bottom line in primetime regardless of how he handled Bountygate, Spygate, Deflategate, the Ray Rice catastrophe, Ezekiel Elliott’s player misconduct case or his stance on weed — any number of issues not pertaining to turning a profit. 

     Via a 2016 Forbes.com article: “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earned $34.1 million in 2014, and he was worth every single penny. Thanks to Goodell’s masterful negotiation of lucrative television rights deals as well as the enhancement of several new league income streams, the NFL’s total revenues are projected to surpass $13.3 billion this year, up more than 50% from 2010.

    Dieter Kurtenbach on Twitter

    Since Ray Rice, Goodell is good for two or three fireable offenses a year. But he makes the NFL owners (his bosses) sooooo much money. https://t.co/Xn5fdjk4O0

    Goodells been credited with making the league some major paper over the past decade and last years drama was throwing a wrench in his game. It seems hes figured out a way to get back to the bag and leave the anthem drama behind. 

    The owners and players have both been stressed during this ongoing anthem saga. The owners have been searching for a way to make the anthem protests go away and some players have suffered for their bravery. After initially taking a very diplomatic tone, the league and Goodell have been trying to wrestle their way out of the line of fire and put the onus on the owners. 

    CBS News on Twitter

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell believes players should stand during the national anthem and wants league to “move past” the controversy. https://t.co/4XnT5Uxy0A

     The new policy regarding the anthem does just that. The NFL will now fine the owners if their players protest. Goodell has masterfully pulled off his finest execution of business savvy. 

    They say you cant beat him in business and I guess its true. First he got paid, shook off an all out assault on his reputation and job by the NFLs most powerful and outspoken owner Jerry Jones, then he passed the national anthem buck to the owners and appointed himself the unblemished, disassociated overseer of this new, chaotic and problem-compounding policy. 

    Goodell and the league have masterfully played both sides of the fence and in the process the league has embarked upon the official exploitation of this friction between the owners and the players. A snap hasnt occurred this season and the NFLs ruling already has everybody’s blood boiling. OTAs just started and already the protest talk is at 100. 

    As much as the NFL claims to want the protests to go way, in the meantime, the league will capitalize on the attention it is getting leading up to opening night, where ratings will probably be through the roof with all of the anticipation concerning things that have nothing to do with the actual game between Philadelphia and Atlanta. 

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    Now that the NFL has removed itself from the responsibility of regulating anthem protests, it is free to market it and watch its owners and players duke it out through the media and captivate the emotions and eyes of the public. The division on the issues will further divide the sports viewing country as the President will surely have a lot to say against the players as the year transpires. 

    Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin told ESPN that the policy was tone deaf and indicative of the disconnect between the NFL and its players. 

    “It’s more of a PR move to me than anything,” Baldwin said. “I don’t really think they ever really did care about the initiatives and things the players care about…It’s again about their bottom line.”

    The NFL has disconnected itself from an issue that was disrupting its cash flow. NFL marketing teams are surely gearing up for all of the attention it will get come September and advertisers will be lined up to get a piece of the action. All of the media, social media sites and sports TV shows are capitalizing on the drama now. Can’t-miss out on that cash cow when it waddles through. 

    The Shadow League on Twitter

    The New York Daily News brought that real real with today’s cover. https://t.co/mmOPGZ2rt5

    The NFL is like a reality show now. Its where a football game could break out into a Black Panther viewing at any time and the owners are largely responsible for that.  They act like knights in white hoods too often. 

    The NFL realizes that the issue isnt going away. The new rule change allows them to do the next best thing to actually ending it and market the drama. Thats so American. So NFL. So sad. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.