If NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell were ranking from top to bottom the owners from whom he’d currently like to receive a written, published statement of support, Washington owner Daniel Snyder would have been No. 32.
But Snyder official has become the second owner (joining Bears chairman George McCaskey) to issue a written statement of support for Goodell.
“Roger Goodell has always had the best interests of football at heart, both on and off the field,” Snyder said in a statement released Saturday morning. “We are fortunate to have him as our Commissioner. The entire Washington Redskins organization strongly endorses his efforts to eradicate domestic abuse and the independent investigation into the Ray Rice assault.”
The timing of the release of the statement is odd. The support would have meant a lot more on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday; it may go largely unnoticed on a Saturday morning. Which the league office may prefer, since the issuance of statements of support at a time when a lull in the controversy has developed serves only to end the lull.
Besides, it’s impossible to consider any comment from Snyder on the matter without wondering whether he’s thanking Goodell for his decision to not make a run at changing the name of Snyder’s team — and whether Snyder hopes to keep it that way.
For Snyder, the Rice-Goodell controversy has helped nudge the simmering name-change debate into the background. But there are similarities between the two issues.
Ultimately, the NFL’s owners will not allow themselves to be influenced by external pressure, on any issue. If outside voices can force a franchise to change its dictionary-defined slur of a name or compel the owners to hire a new captain for their 300-foot, gold-plated, money-printing yacht, those outside voices could potentially cause men not accustomed to taking orders from others to do just about anything.