Front of Sports Illustrated’s site:
The context of that quote? Not good either:
“The one thing I take a little bit of issue with is when guys tell me they’re being screwed,” Goodell said. “[Most often] they’re not recognizing they have a role in it.” Regarding Roethlisberger, Goodell said when he was investigating what to do with the quarterback, he talked to “I bet two dozen [Steeler] players … Not one, not a single player, went to his defense. It wasn’t personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, ‘He won’t sign my jersey.’ ”
My issue isn’t whether or not this is true. I’m 99% sure it’s true. Even if thirty Steelers players go to media day tomorrow and claim it isn’t true, let’s be real — There’s no reason for Goodell to lie about this, but the team has lots of reasons to lie about it, especially leading up to the biggest game of the season when team cohesion is vital.
Benny is/was a well-documented jerk, and I’m not surprised his team was fed up with his shenanigans at the time the suspension was being handed down.
My issue is that the whole quote, the timing of it, the fact that he dared to say it on the record? Reeks of douchebaggery and asshattery and flat out giant-assholeism.
To talk to the media about what went down behind closed doors before Benny’s suspension, to basically say on the record, “Hey, I hate him. Everyone hated him. His teammates hated him. Emphatically,” is a low-blow and is not going to foster honesty and openness the next time he meets with NFL players who might wonder if what they say will eventually be blabbed to the media by the loose lips of Roger Goodell.
Compare it to a CEO taking a moment at the next company retreat dinner in a crowded hotel ballroom to stand up at the microphone and say, “I tell ya, I had to reprimand Bob Ray Brown last month — wait, where’s Bob? Is Bob in the crowd? There he is. Stand up, Bob. There he is. Have a seat, Bob. As I was saying, I had to reprimand Bob for really really truly awful and dismal performance last month, and I tell ya, I talked to about a dozen of his employees and they were like, “Could this dude BE any suckier?’ I don’t have any reason for sharing that with you other than the fact that I crave attention and I feel that I’m all-powerful and everyone should bow down to me and fear me and really just come to understand that my word is law and I face no consequences for anything I do or say, ever, and anyway, Bob and his crew that hates him is over there at table 12 if you’d like to go say hello at the conclusion of the event. I won’t. I hate Bob. I have no connection to Bob. Ha. Ha. Ha-ha. Moving on, next up we’ll be having team-building exercises … ”
I hope Dan Rooney farts in Roger Goodell’s general direction for this one.