House Judiciary Holds Hearing National Football League Players' Head Injuries

Roger Goodell gets grilled over the fine imposed on Jack Del Rio

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As explained last week, Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to testify before the House Oversight Committee will potentially open up a Pandora’s Box of potential questions. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) opened that box Wednesday, moving from a history of workplace misconduct in Washington to Commanders coach Ron Rivera’s recent six-figure fine on the defensive coordinator. Jack Del Rio for the comments he made about the events. from January 6, 2021.

Jordan asked Goodell if he agreed to the fine. Goodell didn’t initially respond, as he often does at a news conference (frankly). Jordan then pressed him to answer yes or no, which rarely happens in a press conference. Goodell was still resisting.

“I don’t think it’s my position to say whether it was the right decision or not,” Goodell said.

Jordan then read a quote from Goodell in 2019.

“We, the National Football League, encourage everyone to speak up and protest peacefully,” Jordan said. “Did you really mean that when you said that, Mr. Goodell?”

“Yes,” Goodell said. “I believe that people are always responsible for what they say and what they do. But yes.”

“And when you said you encourage everyone to talk to you, do you mean everyone, not just some?” Jordan said.

“That’s correct, Congressman, but you are responsible for what you say,” Goodell said. “There are consequences for what you do and say in life.”

That’s an interesting comment from Goodell. And a revealing one, as it relates to Colin Kaepernick’s rejection.

Translation: You are free to say what you want, but there are consequences for what you do and say.

Whether it’s Del Rio or Kaepernick or anyone else, Goodell says in one breath that people are encouraged to speak out and peacefully protest and in the next breath that there are consequences for what you say and do is breath taking. Depending on the consequences, he potentially turns the supposed encouragement into, in practice, discouragement.

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