NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has recused himself as the judge, jury and executioner in the Bountygate appeals. In his place, Goodell has chosen none other than Paul Tagliabue. Because nothing says “hey, I’m so shitty at my job” like bringing in your predecessor to handle the job for you.
Tags is a good man for the job, seeing as he used to be the NFL Commissioner and is also an attorney. The problem with it is that unless all these suspensions and everything are thrown out, this is going to keep going until the end of the season.
On Friday, Goodell said he notified Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove, as well as the players’ union, that he had removed himself from hearing the appeals. The second set of appeals for these players will be heard on October 30.
Vilma’s agent, Peter Ginsberg, was happy with Goodell’s choice, but isn’t jumping for joy, just yet, with Tagliabue as the replacement.
“The commissioner’s decision today makes it clear to us that he’s finally been convinced there is no way he could ever have been a fair and neutral arbitrator,” Ginsberg said. “Having said that, we need time to evaluate whether Commissioner Tagliabue — as much as we respect the work he did for the NFL — is an appropriate replacement given the fact that Mr. Tagliabue works for the same law firm representing Mr. Goodell in both the challenge to the discipline, as well as Mr. Vilma’s defamation lawsuit against Mr Goodell.”
For his part, Goodell did reach out to the NFL Players Association before asking Tagliabue to take on the role, even though the collective bargaining agreement that ended the lockout last year gave Goodell complete authority to hear appeals and/or appoint someone else.
In other “Roger Goodell is having a really shitty day” news…
It appears that Goodell recusing himself could be in part to former Minnesota Vikings lineman Jimmy Kennedy going public and calling Goodell a liar.
Kennedy, who was outed as a whistleblower by Goodell and the NFL, wanted to set the record straight. And you can’t really blame him, seeing as Goodell and his NFL minions issued a MEMO to all 32 teams telling the whole world that Kennedy was the whistleblower after he allegedly told Brad Childress about the bounty on Brett Favre in the 2010 NFC Championship game.
Kennedy vehemently denies any knowledge of said bounty and issues a statement to that affect, being sure to call Roger Dodger out on all his alleged lies.
“I am not one of the players who has been officially disciplined by the NFL as part of this sham,” Kennedy said. “But I now know that I too have been damaged by the NFL’s complete disregard for truth and integrity.”
I, for one, am on Kennedy’s side in this one. Regardless of his involvement in this scandal and regardless of what he knows or doesn’t know, it is epically douchey of Goodell and the NFL to call someone out so publically and issue a memo. What the hell is the point? Jimmy Kennedy isn’t the one who orchestrated this bounty scandal, nor did he participate. So at the very least he was trying to protect his quarterback? Tell me how that requires a league-wide memo.
Also, aren’t whistleblowers protected from this kind of shit in the first place?
Way to go, Goodell. You’ve made people taking out players for cash money look like the good guys.