Richardson’s recruitment of Iger raises eyebrows

AP

During a limited round of media interviews conducted Thursday night, Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said that he first became involved in the effort to build a Carson stadium that would be shared by the Chargers and Raiders at the invitation of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

“He asked whether I’d be interested in helping very specifically the partnership of the Raiders and Chargers move to L.A., develop a stadium, reposition themselves here,” Iger said, via Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “I engaged in conversations with Jerry, and then with both entities.”

That has prompted some to question the impartiality of Richardson, who serves on the league’s Committee on L.A. Opportunities. But here’s the thing: It’s inaccurate to assume that the members of the Committee are or ever were or ever should be impartial.

It’s not the way committees work. Committee members don’t serve as a judge or a jury, waiting for all evidence before making final decisions. As one source with knowledge of the process told PFT on Saturday, the committee members were supposed to be proactive, rendering business judgment and acumen to explore the possibilities, and rolling up their sleeves and working on coming up with the best outcome — regardless of whether they believed going in what the best outcome could or should be.

The committee members do the actual work, searching for possible solutions and refining the options so that when their business judgment is submitted to the full ownership in the form of a recommendation, the other owners will believe that an exhaustive effort has been made.

Richardson, per the source, entered the process with strong feeling about Los Angeles. He has been opposed from the outset to the idea of bringing a fourth team to California when two of the three teams already in that state occupy two of the worst stadiums in the league. Commissioner Roger Goodell, who made the committee appointments, knew Richardson’s point of view, which was driven not by any specific agenda for Richardson’s franchise but with an eye toward what is best for the NFL as a whole.

Also, it wasn’t Richardson’s idea to reach out to Iger, and Richardson had no involvement in recruiting Iger beyond the initial meeting. Iger thereafter worked directly with the Carson project and the Raiders and Chargers. As one source explained it to PFT, Richardson didn’t even know that Iger would become an official participant in the Carson effort until a day or two before the announcement was made.

Regardless, every NFL owner now knows that Richardson supports the Carson project. Many (if not all) have known that Richardson has supported the Carson project for a while; Richardson publicly declared his support more than a month ago.

It doesn’t undermine the process, and it’s not surprising that folks who support the Rams moving to Inglewood would throw stones at any dynamic that undermines the competing project — especially at a time when it feels like the competing project is winning.

11 responses to “Richardson’s recruitment of Iger raises eyebrows

  1. Richardson brings up a good point. Why should we give a state a 4th team when 2 of the 3 teams have bad stadiums? This whole LA thing is stupid. The Rams have had 4 winning seasons in 26 years. To think that any market, much less LA is going to be passionate about bad football is nonsense.

  2. This info only helps Kroenke if he decides to go ahead and move the Rams to L.A. without the leagues permission.
    The league has bungled this whole return to LA thing(like most everything else), and it wil be very embarrassing for Goodell and Richardson when Stan moves his team and takes the league to court………where he will prevail

  3. The Rams have a city that wanst them and is ready to make it known. Kroenke has no business in LA anyway and never did. Greedy is gonna greedy.

  4. Richardson has CROSSED THE LINE!!!
    This is in the Very least Unethical and more likely it’s collusion!!
    He should be removed from the LA Committee immediately and have his owners vote taken away on anything regarding Relocation!!

  5. Gimme a break…bottom line: Disney = pirates of the carribean = raiders ….Disney will make use of those pirates

    Maybe they can somehow tie the chargers to the electric parade or something. But at the end of a day what can the do with a Ram……feed him to Simba maybe.

  6. NOPE! Sorry! I’m calling BS on this article Mike!

    The committee was established to “… evaluate the various stadium options available in Los Angeles, oversee the application of the relocation guidelines in the event that one or more clubs seek to move to Los Angeles, ensure proper coordination with other standing committees and confirm that all steps taken in Los Angeles are consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws and NFL policies.”

    According to the Bylaws, the committee was formed to perform “fact finding missions” and report their findings to the NFL and the owners.

    According to Carmen Policy, Iger was brought on to “calm any concerns about any NFL teams going into L.A. and getting off on the right foot and pursuing the right course.”

    So if “the committee members do the actual work, searching for possible solutions and refining the options so that when their business judgment is submitted to the full ownership in the form of a recommendation, the other owners will believe that an exhaustive effort has been made” and Iger was brought on to make the Carson project stronger, why didn’t Richardson (or any other committee member) bring on an “Iger type” to the Inglewood project to make that project stronger? Did they “exhaust” all efforts for Inglewood?

    You say “Richardson didn’t even know that Iger would become an official participant in the Carson effort until a day or two before the announcement was made”??? Doesn’t matter! It was Richardson who got the ball rolling with his introduction of Iger to the Carson project!

    If Richardson’s role, according to the statute of the formation of the committee, was to evaluate and make a recommendation, not dictate or show favoritism, how can he be objective in terms of “rendering business judgment”?

  7. All three want to be in LA let them go. Just make a rule afterwards that they cant move every twenty years. Im not a nfl to LA fan but let em go already

  8. Gimme a break…bottom line: Disney = pirates of the carribean = raiders ….Disney will make use of those pirates

    I have tried to see a connection. Well played.

  9. The argument for limiting California to 3 teams is shockingly stupid.

    San Diego and Oakland are entirely different markets from LA. They are no more related to each other than Carolina is to Washington, Baltimore or Atlanta. Anyone who thinks the Chargers will retain their SD fan base when they move to LA lacks a basic understanding of the west coast markets. The state boundaries are irrelevant.

    But if we are going to start allocating NFL teams by states rather than markets, it’s worth pointing out that according to population California should have 4 or 5 teams (as it does in other major sports). And Missouri would be entitled to only one – the Chiefs.

  10. Richardson is as greedy as any other sports team owner, having blackmailed Charlotte into paying most of the costs of renovating the stadium by threatening a move to LA. But he has also given millions in donations throughout the community, especially donations that helped launch UNC Charlotte’s football program. He’s also nearly 80, and thus doesn’t have too many years left. So I hope his efforts to squeeze maximum payout for the non-moving owners in this LA situation is part of a larger effort for some more big community grants. We shall see.

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