The House of Commons Oversight Committee meeting, admitted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, is over and there was news and an interesting exchange of views.
The news is that committee chairman Carolyn Maloney has announced that she will summon Daniel Snyder to court next week to force her to testify before the committee, which the Washington commander’s owner has so far avoided.
The committee received testimony from Goodell on Wednesday about the state of the commanders’ toxic work environment years ago and about the NFL investigation. There is also another NFL investigation into Snyder and the commanders.
And representatives on both sides of the political corridor took turns examining the job of Goodell’s commanders just as vigorously.
But it was Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan (R) who withdrew to Goodell over initial changes and freedom of expression over defense coordinator Jack Del Rio’s recent $ 100,000 fine.
It went like this:
“Commissioner, you believe in the first change, don’t you?” Jordan opened.
“I know,” Goodell said.
“I mean all parts of it, all the rights we have, the right to practice our faith, the right to petition the government, the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech, do you believe in all this?”
“Do you agree with the Washington Redskins’ decision to fine Jack Del Rio $ 100,000?” Jordan asked.
By the way, the team changed its name to Commander, so that’s it. Igatahes…
“It simply came to our notice then [Ron] Rivera, “said Goodell.” Again, as I said earlier, they are responsible for monitoring and managing their own workplace. He made that decision himself. I didn’t talk to him. I have great respect for Coach River. He made his decision for reasons that I am sure he thought… ”
Jordan interrupted, noting that this was not the case.
“I asked, do you agree with the Washington Redskins’ decision to fine Jack Del Rio $ 100,000?” he repeated.
“I don’t think so,” Goodell said, “it’s my position to tell if it was the right decision or not.”
“Coach Rivera said in a statement when he fined the assistant coach $ 100,000 that Del Rio” has the right to express its views as a U.S. citizen and certainly has the right to do so. ” you say you’ll end up fined and have to write a $ 100,000 check. Does that concern you? “
Goodell replied, “Again, I have great respect for Coach Rivera. I assume he had a reason to do his job, and I’m sure he took many factors into account.
Again, it does not matter whether the fine concerns Goodell or not, but moves on…
Jordan read out to Goodell his own statement from the start of the 2021 season, which stated in part that he encouraged everyone in the country to speak out and protest peacefully.
“Did you mean it, Mr. Goodell?” Jordan asked.
“Yes,” Goodell said. “I think people are always responsible for what they say and do, but yes.”
“And when you encouraged everyone to speak, did you mean everything, not just a few?” Jordan pressed.
“That’s right, Congressman,” Goodell replied, “but you are responsible for what you say. What you do and say in life has consequences.”
And now Jordan finally came to his senses, but not before he intervened in the idea that the NFL would ban Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoyl from attending NFL events.
“The NFL encourages everyone to speak unless you are Dave Portnoy and you are not allowed to play, unless you are Jack Del Rio, you will be fined. I think this standard is a concern not only for me but for many of your fans throughout in the country. Does it concern you at all? ” Jordan asked.
Goodell replied, “I’m always concerned about what our fans think and how they react, but we try to make sure we’re responsible in all our comments.”
So Goodell stuck to the message that words come with responsibility. And Jordan continued digging, citing Del Rio’s tweet, which has meanwhile been obscured since Del Rio closed its Twitter account.
“Would you be happy to understand the whole story of why there is never talk of riots, looting and burning of personal property, but of January 6?”
Jordan asked what part of that tweet justified a $ 100,000 fine?
“Again, Congressman, I did not impose a fine,” Goodell said. “I was not involved in the decision-making process. Coach Rivera obviously had reasons that he thought were important. I have great respect for him.”
It should be noted that Del Rio also called the events of January 6 at the Capitol “dust.”
Anyway, Jordan then noted that the purpose of the whole hearing was the NFL’s role in overseeing the Washington work environment, and then something is happening in the Washington work environment in recent weeks, and Goodell has nothing to say about it.
“I will not interfere in the club’s job decisions on such an issue,” Goodell said. “It’s not something that highlights a topic we’re talking about today if your job is clearly toxic and unacceptable or unprofessional.”
You didn’t think Jordan would leave that last word to Goodell, did you?
“No one supports it, but we support the first amendment,” Jordan replied. “And I understand that it is a private organization, but I think that the shocking effect of restricting speech in this way and fining you for whispering is a concern for all of us. That is why I am raising this at a committee meeting today.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero
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