Roger Goodell is an unpopular figure in just about any NFL circle you could form, and that includes the most elite of the elites, as well. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Commanders owner (for now) Dan Snyder both aimed to ouster Goodell as the league's overlord, and took to an unlikely source to help achieve that goal.
Former Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter got calls from the ownership duo hoping to pull Papa John's (which was, at the time, the top NFL sponsor) into their plan to undermine Goodell and, ultimately, unseat him as the commissioner.
Of course, Schnatter was fired for using inappropriate, racist language in a company conference call back in 2018.
Here's Schnatter's recollection of how things went down during an unbelievable call between billionaires:
“Snyder and Jones hate Goodell. I said, ‘No, this is not my job to fire your commissioner. He works for you.’ Remember, Goodell is a coward, and he is incompetent. And he’s just lucky. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, Indra Nooyi [former CEO] with PepsiCo, and Dan Snyder all called me — several other folks — about Goodell’s conduct and the way he was handling this. Jones and Dan Snyder . . . wanted Goodell fired.
"This is like . . . the first of November, end of October. They called and said, ‘You need to take this guy out. You’re the number one sponsor of the league, as far as notoriety and acceptance and association. Everybody loves you, they love Peyton [Manning, a Papa John’s franchisee and sponsor]. We hate Goodell.'”
Schnatter detailed how he did end up taking his shot at Goodell:
“I said, ‘No. This is not my job to fire your Ccmmissioner. He works for you.' I just sell pizzas. I have a family of small businesses that, you know, probably 35 percent of our spend’s NFL, it’s down 20 percent. This behavior of not addressing the issue to the owners’ and players’ satisfaction is causing me and my franchisees a lot of problem.
"And this is going on now for two seasons. . . . I had a free shot from two owners to go after Goodell personally. I didn’t go after him in a vicious, venomous way. I just said, ‘Hey, grow up, be a leader, and fix the problem so my small business owners stop taking it on the chin.'”
Roger Goodell is aiming to expand viewership through Amazon Prime
Roger Goodell is the only person in the world with a lack of enough self-awareness to claim that the Amazon Prime platform could build out a viewership niche for the NFL.
No one can blame Goodell for being excited about the corporate partnership with one of the world's biggest companies, but he doesn't need to insult everyone's intelligence along the way.
Whether or not Roger Goodell will ever become self-aware isn't yet known. What we know is that everyone hates him and wants him out of his seat as the league's commissioner.