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Who is The Worst Commissioner in Sports

June 25, 2020

 

Death, taxes and the commissioner of a major American sport getting a round of boos upon presenting a championship trophy. 

 

Those are things that are all a given in life. 

 

Roger Goodell wasted no time in getting off of the podium in the aftermath of the Patriots' dramatic Super Bowl LI comeback. NHL boss Gary Betteman was booed so loudly in Vancouver upon awarding the Bruins the 2011 Stanley Cup the boos could've been heard in Seattle. Adam Silver probably won't be a popular man if he gets on the TD Garden microphone to hand the Celtics their 18th championship. 

 

That brings us to the question: Who is the most unpopular commish in the four major sports (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL)? 

 

In the minds of many during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest throughout the United States, it's between two: Goodell and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. 

 

Let's start with Manfred. It's obviously clear that players and owners are at odds in terms of how to approach the 2020 MLB season. And the longer that happens, the chances are higher our National Pastime won't be back until next spring. 

 

Baseball fans everywhere are calling for Manfred's head. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell has publicly said he isn't pleased with the prospect of a shortened season, taking less money and playing in front of empty stadiums. 

 

And to that I have to say, man up, come to some sort of agreement and play. Restaurant employees throughout the country are running around and carrying four to five tables simultaneously, all while wearing masks on hot summer days. 

 

These millionaires can certainly play half a season for less pay. This country needs live sports other than NASCAR and the PGA Tour. 

 

If there's no 2020 season, baseball will be in trouble in 2021. And Manfred will not be a popular man. 

 

Now for Goodell. 

 

Patriots fans could write novels on why Goodell is a terrible commissioner. But the ineptitude of the head honcho of the NFL stretches beyond One Patriot Place. 

 

And caving in to Donald Trump in regards to players kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of social injustice throughout the country is a big thing. 

 

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich criticized Goodell this week for not having the guts to stand up to the President when he called NFL players "son's of bitches" for kneeling during the anthem, a protest started by free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the wake of deaths of unarmed African Americans at the hands of police. 

 

In the wake of the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the talk of protests in the NFL once the season begins has taken shape again. 

 

Goodell did release a statement condemning racism, but sorry Roger, it's three years too late. 

 

Popovich, who you could argue is the NBA's greatest coach in this century, also criticized Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for his support of Trump, who came out saying any Cowboy who kneels during the anthem will be playing for another team. 

 

Need I say again this is the same owner who wanted Tom Brady banned from the NFL in 2015 in the wake of Deflategate and subsequently signed serial domestic abuser Greg Hardy. The next spring, who was Jones' first draft pick? Ezekiel Elliott, who has had domestic abuse issues of his own. 

 

When Elliott was suspended six games for domestic violence in the 2017 season, Jones threw a hissy fit. It's clear a double-standard exists. Even some Cowboys fans I know despise the longtime Dallas boss. I wouldn't want to play for someone who is going to strip me of my First Amendment right. 

 

While Goodell was so busy trying to punish the Patriots for silly things, domestic violence became a huge issue in the NFL, starting with the Ray Rice incident. Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill had abused one of his children and didn't even get a suspension last season.

 

Until Goodell implements a mandatory half-season, no-appeal suspension for players accused of domestic violence offenses - MLB already has such a policy - Goodell is the worst commissioner in professional sports. And it's not even close. It may be closer if there's no MLB season, but Manfred has a long way to go to catch up to Goodell. 

 

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