While the Commissioner in theory represents all constituents of pro football, only one set of constituents controls his ongoing employment status — 31 owners and the CEO of the Packers. At Friday’s press conference, Peter King asked Goodell whether he still enjoys the support of the owners.
“I believe I have the support of the owners,” Goodell said. “That has been clear to me. They obviously expect us to do a better job. As I said to several, I don’t like to let down anybody, Peter. I hold myself to the highest possible standards.”
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the support may not be as strong as Goodell believes. Some owners, per Mortensen, have adopted a wait-and-see posture, given the not-so-independent investigation from Robert Mueller and the pending Ray Rice appeal. Adam Schefter of ESPN points out that, when Goodell was elected in 2006, 15 owners voted for Gregg Levy, a lawyer at Covington & Burling. Per Schefter, there were certain characteristics of Goodell that troubled those 15 owners at the time.
“The characteristics that bothered those 15 then have been on abundant display the last few weeks,” Schefter said.
Those characteristics (whatever they may be) could result in more troubling findings and conclusions from the Mueller investigation and the Rice appeal.