Robert Mathis: Goodell has “totally lost” the players


Count Colts defensive end Robert Mathis as one of the growing number of folks that believe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has done irreparable harm to his relationship with NFL players.

“I know you can never take business personal but I think its safe to say that Goodell has totally lost his players during this whole process,” Mathis wrote on Twitter Thursday.

Goodell says he’s the commish of the fans and players, not just the owners.  But he’s going to have a lot of work to do to repair his relationship with the players, even when the lockout ends.

“Every team asked him ‘who does he work for’ and he danced around that question better than a Dancin wit the stars champ!” Mathis wrote. “This process revealed he is only for owners when he has came to all 32 teams and told us personally that he works for both sides.”

The best way Goodell can show players he works for both sides is to get the owners to bend on some key issues for the overall good of the game.

84 responses to “Robert Mathis: Goodell has “totally lost” the players

  1. Hey Greg, last time I checked Goodell did get the owners to bend. Remember that offer that was submitted just before the union decertified? It certainly had many concessions from the previous proposals. Now only if Goodell could get the players to bend on some key issues for the overall good of game…

  2. He works for the same 32 people robert mathis and every other NFL employee work for.
    Once again Goodell will do what the owners tell him, and for 10 mil…he should be smart enough to do it.

  3. OOOOoooo be careful what you say Mathis…you’ll get a BIG fat fine for that!!!!

    But I do agree 🙂

  4. Goodell, in my opinion, has been more than fair during this whole time. He offered up a pretty fair deal that they decided to walk away from, sham decertify, and sue the league.

    He’s begged for negotiations to continue, but the players think they have a better chance in court. If they would have stayed at the table and actually counter-offered a few times, maybe we’d have a new CBA in place right now.

    I can’t believe how much DSmith has brainwashed these players, and apparently the dude over at deadspin.

    Uh oh, I must work for the NFL or be a pro-owner fanboy….

  5. Possibly the dumbest statement of the day. Two sides locked in a dispute… one side declares that they have no faith in the other side. Duh. Thank you Captain Obvious.

  6. Wait, there’s a player who is not happy with Goodell during the labor negotiations, even implying that Goodell sides with the people who sign his paychecks? Shocking. How is this not the lead story on all the networks right now?

  7. Mathis you should think befor you speak!!! Goodell may have lost the players, but YOU PLAYERS LOST THE FANS…. We are tired of everyday average Americans having to cut back or pay more, and take less, while you players price us out of the game we love, act like grown children without any clue on how to act. Hold out for more money once your contract isn’t tops for your position. YOU PLAYERS forgot theirs no I in team, but your quick to point out there’s a M and a E. You hit your homerun with the last CBA, now it’s time to change it since times are alot different.

  8. I would love to see the garbage that the players union is showing to the players for everyone to keep saying stuff like this. If the players picked up a paper or read an online article for once in their life they would be able to see how both sides have been playing out. The players are putting the “blame” of why this lockout has lasted so long squarely on the shoulders of the owners and Goodell. I am shocked no players have said anything bad about De-Smith.

  9. Goodell, the worst Commissioner in the history of the sport, is nothing more than Jerry Jones’ sock puppet.

    A Commissioner needs both sides respect to be effective. If they ever resolve this, the man who has overseen the dismantalling of this great sport, needs to retire or be run out of town.

  10. The fact that the players don’t understand what is in their best interests, and what is in the best niterests of the game does not mean that Goodell doesn either.

  11. What has Goodell done to “lose” the players? Saying that both sides need to get back to the bargaining table? Saying a deal won’t get made in the courts? Hell, they players lost me when they left the bargaining table, decertified and went to court.
    As a lifelong fan, I fully back the owners and if they need to shut down for a year to break the players, I say go for it.
    Players come and go, but my team is always there, thanks to the owners.
    BTW, I don’t work for the NFL.

  12. Who cares what Robert Mathis thinks. As a player he obviously is biased. Should we expect him to say something different?

  13. I think that all stories from this point forward that include quotes about a player’s opinion on Goodell, the NFL or anything lockout related should be put under the turd watch. Another dumb move by another ignorant player.

    DISCLAIMER: I am not employed by the NFL any NFL team or any of its affiliated companies.

  14. I’m not a big fan of Goodell. I think the uniform and celebration fines are excesive.
    About the uniforms players should be reminded about it and if it reachs a point where the players don’t want to listen you take care of it. Same with TD celebrations.

    The rule changes about player protection are anticlimatic, you don’t like them as a fan but nobody puts himself in Goodell shoes here. With new studies about concussions how do you really prevent this sport from being violent? If you have the answer you’re a genious because if you’re honest with yourself you can’t really avoid them 100%. I think you can prevent them with proper tackling, changing the surfaces to natural grass and mandate to the players that they have to use the best helmet in the business. This is not an easy job.

    Then there is the CBA problem. I feel he inherited a hot potatoe here and he deals with it the best way he can.

    Players don’t like being challenged and it is ovbious they see Goodell as the bad guy, I respect their opinions, I understand they don’t like him but I disaprove the disrespect shown by some of the players every chance they get.

  15. and what if he doesn’t repair the damage done to the relationship to the players. You guys gonna go on strike. Hell, I didn’t like most of my bosses I worked for in my life, I never expected them to worry about whether they worried about my relationship with them. The players need to understand that he has a job to do and one on them isn’t winning the popularity contest with the players, but of course I am sure that is the way a lot of them think because they have been catered to all their life because they play football.

  16. Last time I checked, he was still their boss. And their motivation “to get paid” will keep them in line. So in retrospect, it doesn’t matter if he has lost the players. Because in all honesty… “The Players” have lost most of us already.

  17. I think he should get the players to bend. It’s their fault this is going on anyway because they’re being unreasonable. If this were a siege the players would lose faster than the owners. They can hold out indefinitely because as business owners they are capable of handling their money wisely enough to be set for the future. The players are a bunch of nimrods who run around with expensive jewelry and cars while acting like they’ll make that kind of money the rest of their lives. Don’t let the greedy players win, Owners. You know best!

  18. One of Roger’s responsiblities is to represent the owners. Of course anger from the players will be directed at him, as he is often the public face representing them collectively. If players are that mad, perhaps they should start directing their anger at their owners. Hey Robert Mathis, why don’t you start taking some cheap shots at Jim Irsay and see where that gets you?

    I would like to hear from the players that De Smith has lost, as I am sure there are many that are against his approach of non-negotiation and pushing everything through the courts.

    And as a disclaimer, I do not work for the NFL and I am pro-owner (as I feel the players would rather litigate than negotiate). If the players had chosen to elect Troy Vincent to run the NFLPA rather than a lawyer, then I would be pro-player.

  19. Goodell may ‘work’ for and with the players on many issues in the course of doing his job, so to that extent his response is accurate. But on labor/management issues he works soley for owners. It is an adversarial situation. If Mathis is surprised by this, he’s not very bright.

    I tend to think most of the players understand Goddell’s role in the same way they understand De Smith’s role. It really is just business and if Mathis really got that he wouldn’t take it personally.

  20. I think it’s safe to say that the players like Robert Mathis and Adrian Peterson have completely lost it.

  21. oh okay Mathis

    so when the lockout is lifted you wont be coming back to work to collect your paychecks becuase he “lost” all of you

    what an idiot

  22. The whole thing is stupid. If there is no NFL this year, people will start watching and supporting other sports instead of the NFL and these morons will suffer even more in their wallets.

  23. The more interesting question is: how many owners has he lost? There has to be a certain fraction of owners that are not happy with how this has gone down and with the hardline owners who are pushing the lockout. It will be interesting to hear those opinions, if they ever come out. The owners have done a good job of presenting a united front, but it probably isn’t all that harmonious behind closed doors.

  24. too many people are thinking of the nfl like a regular corporation. its 32 companies, that have a union(as is allowed by law). his job isnt to like the players but he does have to understand that he has to work with them. from a fan standpoint what hes been doing to the league in general is irritating. they really need a new guy in there. from a players standpoint i can see how he comes off as smug, disingenuous and arrogant. as a fan i feel hes like that.

  25. Really? The PLAYERS priced fans out of the game? As you pro-owners are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO quick to point out, the OWNERS run the teams.



    The mess the owners are currently in is because even the OWNERS recognize without the BEST players, you can’t put out the BEST product.

    Or Win a super bowl.

    OR get their localities to pony up for billion dollar stadiums at sweetheart deals designed to completely benefit the owners.

    OR get huge TV contracts.

    The Owners NEED the players, the players need the owners. THEY BOTH NEED to get their acts together. Now how do you get a deal done? No clue.

    WORK IT OUT. The clock is ticking.

  26. The best way Goodell can show players he works for both sides is to get the owners to bend on some key issues for the overall good of the game.

    What issues?
    * Money – the last CBA offer did reduce the additional $1 billion.
    * Salary cap – latest offer increased from $131 million to $141 million
    * 18 games – the last offer backed off the 18 games even putting in a clause that 16 games would require player approval.
    * Financial disclosure – NFLPA hasn’t budged one bit here. Goodell has signaled that more info can be negotiated.
    * Reducing OTA from 14 to 10
    * Additional money for retured players (and all NFL players will be retired at some point)

    These players always rag on Goodell but I am not hearing them come up with alternative.

  27. All professional sports commissioners today work for the owners who hire and pay them.

    The only historical exception I am aware of is baseball from 1920 to 1992.

    After the Black Sox scandal in 1919, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis insisted on total power as a condition of his acceptance of the commissioner position. Since baseball needed him more than he needed baseball, the owners acquiesced. That agreement gave Landis unique authority over ALL baseball matters, including the owners themselves.

    Landis’ successors as commissioner enjoyed the same level of authority until 1992. The owners forced Fay Vincent out of the office then, and appointed one of the owners, Bud Selig, as acting commissioner.

    Selig was in office when the 1994 World Series was canceled in a labor dispute, breaking the hearts of Montreal Expos’ fans since the team had the best record in baseball at the time.

  28. Don’t worry about it Roger….. according to these knuckleheads, they’ll be out of the league in 3.5 years…. “insert rolleyes smiley here”.

    You can then shake hands with, and hug the next generation of players….. hopefully they’ll be a little more grateful.

    If Goodell wanted to act as emotionally as these bast@rds, he should wipe out the current rosters and start over….. I’m sick of their disrespect and unprofessionalism…… screw ’em all.

    Knowing that won’t happen, I can’t WAIT to see some of these clowns on the sideline…. the verbal barrage unleashed from the first row will be unbearable for these thin-skinned weenies….

  29. Roger (Former NY Jet Employee) Goodell will do EXACTLY what the owners tell him to do. If he doesn’t, then there will be a different Roger Goodell in the commissioner’s chair. The owners talk, and Rogers lips move. Simple as that.

  30. And what do the owners think about De Smith? Who cares. Give me football. I will never forget that amidst bargaining the players took this to court, and that is going to result in a waste of at least 2 months of bargaining that probably could have resulted in a deal. Facts are facts.

  31. In related news… The NFL players (aka the millionaire “slaves” who “love the lockout” and at the same time are suing the owners saying that the lockout will cause them irreprible harm”) have lost the fans…

  32. slayyer30, i’m with you….

    The players have COMPLETELY lost me…..

    The owners are not far behind but……

    They can save me as a fan by making sure there is a season, with or without current players.

    I will never watch baseball again or hockey because the greed of the players/owners ruined seasons and championships…..

    Don’t let the players hold the season hostage as a union.

  33. goodel only has alegience to the owners. Players come and go and player don’t need to have a good relationship with goodell. thats not what he’s there for.
    Players better accept a deal or they’ll be replaced.

  34. it must be true owners have the empoyees on here trying to stir up support for them and goodell. goodell has not done one thing that is good for football and as a matter of fact he is trying to change the game . and make it totaly something that it was not meant to be , this is a mean sport and you can not regulate the hits in this game. the only reason goodell wants hard hits removed so he can get his beloved 18 game schedule which will turn the nfl into a track meet, ive already cancelled my season tickets and will not watch nfl channel or there web page. i might come back when roger goodell is gone. of course i want jerry jones and some other owners gone as well

  35. Breaking News

    Washington (AP) – NFL Owners agree to replace all in stadium food concessions with SPAM.

  36. “The best way Goodell can show players he works for both sides is to get the owners to bend on some key issues for the overall good of the game.”
    Shiz Rosenthal, why not just demand the owners give controlling interest in every team to the NFLPA? Last I checked the union STILL has not responded to the leagues last proposal. Owners have already bent and the response from the players was to decertify.

  37. In related News….

    Reversing a decade-long trend, NFL owners have reached a tentative agreement to replace all existing Field Turf with ASTROTURF.

  38. Players come and go, many of them beloved. The owners remain…..In the end it is a business, owned by the 32 folks who were enterprising enough (or fortunate enough to have won the genetic lottery). Business owners make the rules. It is as simple as that. Deal with it as best you can! In the end it is one of the immutable laws of the universe. We should all be as lucky (or talented PHYSICALLY) to be taken advantage of by the bad, bad owners. Statements by many players illustrate to me that they really have absolutely no clue about the real world of workin’ folks. Nauseating.

  39. Wait ’til you start missing payckecks, Mathis.
    And after that, wait ’til you realize that your putz leader DeMaurice cares much more about his long-term political aspirations…and getting the present-day TV exposure that’ll help him get there…than he does about any of the 1600 NFL players.
    The players are just tools to him.
    The players are just tools to me too, now that I think about it.

  40. The best way Goodell can show players he works for both sides is to get the owners to bend on some key issues for the overall good of the game.

    Uh, I think the reason we are in this mess is that the owners bent too far with the last deal and now have to get some of the money back that they gave up the first time. And according to every site that I have read the last offer that the owners have made consessions on several key points. The players were not there to negotiate and it has been reported many times that they have not budged once from thier initial offer and then broke off negotiations and pursued litagation.

    According to everything I have seen, the only way Goodell gets the players back is if the owners give them everything they want and do not try to compromise from that.

  41. I don’t work for the NFL but I could at one time afford season tickets…4 years ago. As players continue to post such ridiculous crap you realize that most of these guys couldn’t be a fry chef at a fast food joint. If they (the players) really want a free market don’t they realize only the high profile players will get paid. A classic case of the “haves” screwing the “have-nots.” Is it any wonder the high profile players are the ones pursing the lawsuit. Unions are supposed to protect all the workers. This union is about self interest beginning with De Smith. In the meantime the game and the fans suffer with no collective bargaining taking place.

  42. What’s even more alarming is that the players have lost Roger Goodell. It’s time for the boys to grow up and resolve this. The “Golden Goose” is no longer gold, guys…fix it and move on.

  43. the more players talk, the more i feel that players are getting paid waaaaaaaaayyy too much already, and they should be thanking god every day that they are not sitting at home unemployed, or working at mcdonalds getting my order wrong.

  44. Correction, the players don’t belong to the self important commissioner. The players are under contract with the owners just as the commissioner is.
    All he can do is make the player’s lives miserable which he has a penchant for.

    Roger Goodell’s job is to look good, spout corporate platitudes and make stupid decisions.

  45. geez, you pro owners people, let me tell ya 1st both side have been working on this for 3 years, 2nd the owners “planned” this lockout proof is the t.v. insurance deal they struck, paying them if there are no games, 3rd you guys act like the nfl is like mcdonalds and you can run out on the street and get these players, in all the nfl is a unique business, so are the owners, so are the players. up until the players decertified they were led down a rosy path of lies and deceit, the owners are out to redo a deal, to gain more then they think they lost. i have been around extremely wealthy people in my life and let me tell you one thing i have learned, and its the same reason we have lawyers, they cannot be trusted and most are complete idiots who got lucky. i know one thing i dont want to work for jerry jones!

  46. The union is decertified, over. There is no more collective bargaining to be done.

    Just lift the lockout (before another court order lifts it for you) and play football under rules that do not violate anti trust law.

    The players know they are better off without a union and a CBA. They all have agents and can afford lawyers. It is time for the owners to adjust to a non union workforce.

    They can have the billion dollar roll back of salary, just not all the anti trust protection of a CBA along with it.

    Just shut up and play football. Stop pretending the players are the ones shutting the game down just because they did not accept your CBA offer, or that you have no idea what to do without a CBA. Just play football.

  47. Both sides may want to concern themselves more with the irreparable harm they are doing to their relationship with the fans who pay their salaries and bills. And particularly Mathis and the rest of the players should consider the possible irreparable harm to the competitive balance and overall health of the future league that their anti-trust lawsuit could cause. Attacking the draft, free agency and other collectively applied rules could one day kill the game as we know and love it.

  48. Robert Mathis should organize his fellow players to stop all of the payments that they make to Goodell’s paycheck if he is so unhappy that he doesn’t work for them.

    Wait, that would be zero.

  49. Whew, and here I thought we’d make it through a whole week without hearing a whiny, sense-of-entitlement comment from a millionaire sports player.

    This guy’s rich beyond most people’s dreams, is set for life, is living a dream, and yet a temporary squabble over money creates ‘irreperable harm’.

    I don’t think this jerk and all his superstar buddies know the meaning of the phrase. To them, not getting everything they could possibly want is a great offense.

  50. Speaking of loosing: I will not be buying any NFL apparrell (especially player jerseys) or products this year. I have stopped watching NFL Network . I won’t go to anymore (good for you PFT, ESPN and CBS). I didn’t watch the draft. I won’t be buying tickets. If we miss games. I’m done with this league.

  51. Is it that difficult to understand that the players had a tremendous amount of disdain for Goodell pre-lockout? They view him as judge, jury and executioner when it comes to disciplinary matters, fines, suspensions etc. They are right because he is judge, jury and executioner and his word is law.

  52. kevpft says:
    May 13, 2011 1:32 PM

    ‘irreperable harm’.

    I don’t think this jerk and all his superstar buddies know the meaning of the phrase.


    But I think the undrafted free agents, unrestricted free agents, and players fighting for the last spot on the roster know it very well.

  53. I’m tired of both sides. Mad at the owners for opting out of the CBA which started this and the players who keep acting like an unreasonable, scorned ex-girlfriend. Both sides have huge egos that want to punish the other side and prove a point. Their greed and pride is going to kill the golden goose.

  54. The players have totally lost THE FANS!!! We are tired of hearing you uneducated athletes complain over making millions of dollars!!!! The fans are the ones with the true POWER! Boycott the NFL and all its affiliates!

  55. @ the let’s blame the players for locking themselves out crowd…

    The “concessions” made by Goodell and the NFL, please review those for me. Right, those aren’t concessions are they?

    The owners are LOCKING OUT the players, meaning they opted out of a contract that made the average NFL player the lowest paid in Big Three professional sports. Understand, the offer by Goodell was not a concession, it was affirmation that the NFL expected players to give up an extra billion to the owners off the top, and another billion in salary cap reductions over a ten year span? Would any of you accept a crappy deal like that, when you put your life and body on the line for your job?

    The NFL doesn’t want to open its books for a reason, they are making tons of money, tell me what NFL owner faces financial hardships?

    Back to the point of the article, it is really slimy for Goodell to tell players he reps them, when he turns around and blasts them in misleading press releases and sells them out to ownership at every turn.

  56. I totally agree with those who say Goodell might be the worst commissioner in sports. The fact that he stood up during the draft when the fans were booing him and chanting “we want football” saying he agreed with them while at the same time behind the scenes back peddling and coming up with excuses to not to start the season after the judge ruled to do so shows he could care less about the fans or the players for that matter. He did what was in the owners best interest and nothing else despite the ruling.

    As for these “comments” stating the players have lost the fans. BS…. 8 million people watched the draft. Doesn’t sound like a dis interested audience to me especially considering the NBA and MLB both being available at the same time. I have to question the sincerity of these “fans”. Just as PFT posted. Fans want football. Any fan that doesn’t want football is not a fan.

  57. No, DeMo Smith totally lost the players. Just shut up and get ready for Indy to get back to the playoffs again.

  58. I wonder if the pro-owner majority out here would change their minds if those owners opened their books & showed how many millions the owners & their family members (with cushy executive job titles) are making annually.

    I have a feeling many fans wouldn’t be so angry about the $4 million some player makes for putting his body in danger every day compared to the $40 million some owner makes for sitting in suite & the $500K each of his kids makes for being VP of something.

    But the owners refuse to open the books. They can’t decide how to share the revenue amongst the 32 owners so they want to keep a much bigger piece of the revenue.

    p.s. MAthis is right & I’m glad he said it. Goodell is simply a puppet for the owners. The NEXT time he does something to support the players will be the FIRST time he does something to support the players. Frankly, I think the players should treat him like the enemy he is.

  59. notthekiller says:
    The players have totally lost THE FANS!!! We are tired of hearing you uneducated athletes complain over making millions of dollars!!!! The fans are the ones with the true POWER! Boycott the NFL and all its affiliates!

    I’m a fan just like you, and I unhappily accept the fact that we, as fans, really don’t have any power.

    If we did we’d be using it. Think about it.

  60. Players and owners are both greedy. Both like to place blame anywhere they can…you both make way too much money at the fans expense. Get a clue Robert! If you didn’t have Freeney…you would not even be in the NFL.

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