Mike Pereira: Roger Goodell shoved me during argument about officiating


Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira has leveled a serious allegation of workplace misconduct against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Pereira writes in his forthcoming book that Goodell shoved him during a heated argument about the infamous 2001 “Bottlegate” game, when referee Terry McAulay stopped the game with 43 seconds left while Cleveland fans threw bottles on the field.

“Goodell persisted, but I refused to give in. What happened next was anything but good. The conversation escalated, and when he was down in front of my office, with others present, he was so frustrated and, I’m sure, getting so much heat from Cleveland that he gave me a hard shove into my door to try and continue the argument about McAulay in my office. Quite frankly, it startled me, and I think it startled him a little because the discussion ended shortly after that,” Pereira writes, in an excerpt published by Deadspin.

Pereira was proud of himself for defending his referee in the face of Goodell’s inappropriate conduct.

“You have to support your ‘players,’ including sticking to your guns when you get shoved by your boss—who, by the way, wasn’t yet commissioner then. He was the executive vice president and chief operating officer,” Pereira writes.

PFT asked the league office for comment on Pereira’s allegation and did not receive a response.

If Pereira’s account is accurate, it’s troubling that Goodell would treat a subordinate in such a way — and that he’d be rewarded with a promotion to commissioner five years later. Goodell needs to explain his side of the story, and the NFL should explain whether the incident was investigated and whether Goodell was disciplined — just as Goodell would demand discipline for any other league employee who acted inappropriately.

94 responses to “Mike Pereira: Roger Goodell shoved me during argument about officiating

  1. So they knew he was an abusive short tempered bully but made him Commissioner anyway. At least things all worked out.

  2. Goodell goes all Ray Rice on somebody and doesn’t get busted. Typical. Makes sense though why Pereira doesn’t cross the league, probably out of fear of ol Dodger.

  3. Brady gets 4 games for doing …ZERO

    Could care less if it’s 15 years later…Time to shove Goodell out

  4. Honestly I don’t really care. Both people have moved on. We’ve all gotten heated. This is no doubt inappropriate office behavior but not really that big of a deal in my book other than people trying to tear Goodell down. Which no doubt we all love to do, but this one is a stretch.

  5. Goodell’s needs to explain an incident that supposedly happened 15 years ago? Pretty sure any statute of limitations on this one has long since expired. Since when is everything that happens in the NFL subject to some sort of de facto freedom of information rule?

  6. I seriously miss the days when men, real men, settled differences like this with their fists, and then shook hands and had a beer together afterwards.

    Some things are better left unreported. In this day and age of “look at me!”, that idea has been left by the way side, along with common sense.

    I am no fan of Goodell, but if this happened and Pereira was seriously offended by it, he should have dealt with it and settled it at that time. To bring this up now? Inexplicable.

  7. So Roger Goodell is a whiny, ill tempered douche bag. We get that…but that is like saying Donald Trump makes hyperbolic statements.

  8. He kept it quiet and in house because he wanted to keep his job. It’s called work place inimidation. We hear about it after the fact because Goodell can no longer ruin his career, and because it has become obvious to everyone now that Goodell is abusive. he probably is sharing this to help send the message that this guy needs to be removed from the NFL. He is ruining the game.

  9. Whatever Goodell says about this will be a lie..that’s all he knows how to do. I’m sure that Pereira’s account of this incident is true.

  10. Wow, imagine if this were a player who shoved a league official – immediate and indefinite suspension!

    Goodell is the most disingenuous, hypocritical person alive. And he should never be allowed to use the word INTEGRITY.

  11. Pereira defended a referee….Now he’s a turncoat pointing out referee mistakes with the aide of slow motion replay.

  12. On a class trip several years ago, the Milwaukee County DA (Mike McCann) apparently decided to use me, for whatever reason, as a prop during his speech to our class, and jammed his finger into my chest repeatedly, so hard in fact that I actually had to take a half-step back to keep from falling over in front of the entire audience. I couldn’t see where I was stepping and end up landing on the foot of a woman who was about 1/3 my size. I would have liked to have made an issue of it, and certainly had the bulk and youth to swing matters in my favor quickly, but of course he had his weight of his office at his disposal, so I just had to take it. So I know, in some small way, about the sort of boorish nonsense Pereira had to deal with here.

  13. Guy wants to sell books, so u gotta put something attention getting to do so. Be it true or not. Next there will be sex during a tv time out between player and cheerleader.

  14. Mike Pnis now about ratings……me ratings since he’s being squeezed out of the NFL machine

  15. “-just as Goodell would demand discipline for any other league employee who acted inappropriately.”

    Ha! Good one!

  16. And you did not level him. Shut up and turn in you man card. This was 2001 and you did not take a swing.

  17. Not sure I can take the word of a guy who is trying to stay relevant, 15 years later…and wants to sell his book. Lets see if anyone else backs up his story.

  18. Funny that Mike Pereira’s completely transparent comment that the CURRENT head of NFL officiating – the guy who makes replay decisions – has never actually been an official doesn’t earn a shrug, but an apparently accidental push by Goodell 15 years ago is a four-alarm blast from the past.

    But since even an accidental push of a referee is a one-game suspension without pay, Goodell should be forced to stay home Week 2 and return 1/16th of his annual salary. Maybe he could hang out with Payton and Tom.

  19. If you are shocked by this story then you have not worked in the real world. People get chewed out by their bosses all the time in corporate America and some confrontations get physical. When billions of dollars are on the line, shoving someone in the middle of an argument is not that surprising.

  20. And yet hardman Goodell spent last year’s opening night on the West Coast instead of Foxboro (but prob only because the Hawaii idea fell through). A classic bully that can’t take the heat.

  21. Let him try that with IK, Goodell is a good size guy, no reason to put his hands on that little ref

  22. Let me guess what happens next on…”As the NFL Turns.” Bill Belichick appoints Tom Brady and Ray Rice as special investigators, who find that not only did Goodell push the referee, he was the one found inflating footballs and punching ladies in elevators. But it gets better. Johnny Football was denied was denied a long successful carreer as an unknown figure in a tie slipped into the locker room and forced him to drink of Jack before practice. The DNA shows it was Roger. Wow, this is BIG!

  23. Now I absolutely love Roger. MP is pure scum who looks like he bets on games each weekend. He gets pissed at calls against his bet.

  24. Troubling? Come on don’t think that Washington and Jefferson’s
    all time best flag football player doesn’t have a temper. A son
    of a US Senator who always thinks he is right ? This is the true
    Roger Goodell, he is away a right.

  25. Who needs Brock Lesnar or CM Punk. UFC 205 Madison Square Garden. Pin Arms Pereira vs Adolf Goodell….

  26. Geez only a couple years later……just like he touched me or he stole my stuff. Man the media just lives for this crap and we eat it up……..who gives a schit someone pushed me.

  27. fun fact in Japan there is 1 lawyer per 4100 population. In the US there is 1 lawyer for per 250 population. I’m sure the Mike has already called his.

  28. Now Goodell needs to turn over all emails and text messages from 15 years ago. If he doesn’t have his phone then he needs to be disciplined for destroying evidence at minimum.

    But Goodell is going to come back and tell the ref that we all know that you can’t see plays correctly that are right in front of your eyes so we need to go back to replay review for verification. If there is no disputable evidence that it was a non-catch (cough) I mean shove then you can’t call it one now. If you had called it a shove when it happened then we would need indisputable evidence now to overrule it.

  29. It’s yet another indication of how much of a punk Goodell is. I wish Pereira would have punched his lights out.

  30. Goodell is a chump and I am certain that is not the only time he has done something like that. The stories will keep coming out as Goodell loses influence and former employees are no longer at risk. That is just not a personality trait that you can keep under wraps.

  31. Goodell is demonstrating zero ethics as he allows Brady to miss 25% of the 2016 season while the NFL keeps the PSI information that was collected during the 2015 secret because it shows that that footballs always lose PSI when moved from warm to cold.

  32. It really isn’t that troubling, we’ve established Goddell should be gone. I’m not sure what he has on the NFL, I can only assume is that he’ll fight against the NFL over concussions if he is let go and that really scares them. Could be wrong.

  33. Only Goodell would get into fisticuffs with a guy that wouldn’t suspend a referee for calling a game where the Cleveland drunks were pelting everyone on the field with bottles.

    And of course, the catalyst of the whole thing was that the referees didn’t know what a catch was.

  34. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Sep 8, 2016 5:51 PM
    If you are shocked by this story then you have not worked in the real world. People get chewed out by their bosses all the time in corporate America and some confrontations get physical. When billions of dollars are on the line, shoving someone in the middle of an argument is not that surprising.

    What alternate universe ‘real world’ are you talking about? After getting out of the service and graduating college I spent over 30 years working in a corporate environment before leaving to become an independent consultant. Not only do confrontations at the corporate level almost never result in physical contact an actual shove is virtually unheard of.

  35. Just one of the videos that can be found online that proves that Roger Goodell and the NFL are making a mistake by forcing Tom Brady to miss 25% of the 2016 season.

    You can watch video on the popular online video site. Just search for: “DEFLATE GATE & WHY SCIENCE SAYS THE PATRIOTS DID NOT TAMPER WITH FOOTBALLS”

    The reason the NFL hasn’t released the PSI information from the 2015 season is because it shows the same thing that you saw in that video.

  36. I had a coach like Goodell once back in high school. He was so mad at me one time and slammed me up against the wall outside of the locker room. Hot tempered. But the difference is I had respect for that coach and no one has respect for Goodell.

    And I should also add, he got mad because I locked him out of the locker room on purpose.

    And to the guy that says this happens all the time in corporate America, I’ve been working in corporate America for years and this has never been tolerated. 10 years at my current world wide company and out of corporate office. I’ve never seen this tolerated in the office. Yes, I’ve seen it in the manufacturing plants but not at the corporate level. Just like you expect it on the NFL field but not out of corporate office.

  37. Peirera wanted to keep his job.
    Would have been stupid to knock out Goodell. Goodell is a shady commissioner tasked with balancing the wants of 32 shady billionaires bent on jabbing one another.

  38. The “catalyst” was NOT the fact that the refs didn’t know what a catch was. The “catalyst” was that they REVIEWED THE PLAY AFTER ANOTHER PLAY WAS RUN.

    I suggest perhaps reading up on what went down BEFORE commenting on it.

    And Pereira DESERVED to be shoved for that debacle.

  39. Well, now we know why Goodell lets players engaged in Domestic Violence off with just 1 or 2 game suspensions.

    He’s an abuser himself!

    Gotta love how the owners want every rule in the book enforced – except for that one that says “the Commissioner shall have unquestioned integrity”

    Seems like the owners should enforce that rule before they bother reprimanding the players

  40. Why are we debating who was right and who was wrong in the argument? Arguments happen in offices every day. What DOESN’T happen every day is that supervisors don’t physically assault their direct reports.

    If they do, it usually means a trip to HR, a suspension, or a firing. I don’t care that it was “in the heat of the moment”. We’ve all been heated at work, and 99.9% of us will never physically attack the person we’re heated at. Most of us would never think of such a thing. One time is far too many in a corporate environment.

    Wonder if the owners knew about this little kerfuffle before they voted for commissioner 10 years ago…

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