By Ryer Gardenswartz, For The Miami Student
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may have to start counting down the days until his reign is over. It seems as though his supremacy has finally reached a tipping point.
When Judge Richard Berman was tasked with ruling on whether or not the NFL would have to uphold the four-game suspension on New England quarterback Tom Brady for Deflategate, he vacated it. The ruling shows Goodell’s lack of control and authority as commissioner.
In the Patriots home-opener on Thursday, which was also the first game of the 2015 season, Goodell was nowhere to be seen. He didn’t see Brady carve up the Pittsburgh Steelers defense with four touchdowns passes in NE’s 28-21 win.
It’s clear NFL fans are not okay with how Goodell has dealt with the offseason issues. During Thursday’s game, fans in the Gillette Stadium taunted him with clever posters and a “Where is Roger?” chant.
This idea – that the NFL needs a fresh face at the helm – is not new; it’s not a result of Deflategate. Serious questions started to occur during the Ray Rice dilemma last year.
When video of the once-elite Baltimore running back Ray Rice dragging his then-fiancé’s limp body out of an elevator was released, Goodell suspended Rice for two games.
Several players have been caught for marijuana use, and they suspended for a minimum four games.
Many fans, players and reporters were confused as to why players with drug issues warranted more severe punishments than those with domestic violence.
After more video evidence confirmed Rice had punched and knocked out his then-fiancé, the Ravens released him and Goodell suspended him from the NFL indefinitely.
It took months for Goodell to do so. It left fans and those in the sports community wondering – what took so long? It seemed no one understood what Goodell was doing or how he chose his punishments. His authority was seriously questioned.
The turmoil and unrest from the fans signal it may be time for Goodell to step down. There is no reason for the NFL to lose its following: the NFL is extremely popular in the United States, and teams have large fan bases throughout the country and beyond. Not only is the league immensely popular, but also it is also lucrative.
Deflategate seems to be the last straw for many fans – especially those in New England.
If the league wants to stay atop of the pedestal of professional sports in America, they need to consider a change at Commissioner. Goodell has done some great things for the league, but all good things must come to an end. And the sooner he leaves, the better.