Most NFL players say they disapprove of the way Commissioner Roger Goodell does his job, and there’s a vocal contingent of NFL fans who disapprove of Goodell as well. But there’s little doubt that with the NFL in better financial shape than ever, Goodell’s bosses are happy with the work he’s doing.
Those bosses are the owners of the 32 teams, and as Patriots owner Robert Kraft put it in an Outside the Lines profile of Goodell, the owners consider themselves fortunate to have a commissioner as good as Goodell.
“I think we really lucked out with him as commissioner,” Kraft said. “I think Roger, once he assumed this position, really runs the NFL like he owns it and thinks like an owner.”
The fact is, however, that Goodell is not an owner, and the criticism Goodell gets from players and fans often centers on a belief that Goodell cares more about the good of the owners’ bottom line than he cares about the good of the game. Kraft says that Goodell doesn’t need to be popular to be doing a good job.
“To be honest, I really don’t focus on how players view the commissioner,” Kraft said. “All I know is he’s very tough but very fair, and he’s doing a job, and it’s not going to help him win popularity contests. I want him to do things just the way he’s doing them.”
As long as Goodell’s bosses — the team owners — are happy, he’ll keep doing what he’s been doing.