St. Louis lawsuit exhibits expose that Rams and NFL lied about planned L.A. move

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It doesn’t take a smoking gun to cause a reasonable person to conclude that the Rams and the NFL lied repeatedly about the planned relocation from St. Louis to Los Angeles. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch found one anyone.

Or more than one.

The publication fought to get access to court exhibits that the league wanted to expunge. It’s obvious why the league didn’t want these documents to see the light of day. They expose that the league and its teams lie when they think need to. It’s not personal, it’s just business.

For example, the exhibits obtained by the Post-Dispatch confirm that the Rams and the league knew that owner Stan Kroenke purchased the Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood with the specific plan to build a stadium there. He wanted to hide that information. The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell participated in the lie.

It was strategic, but it was still a lie. Which confirms that they indeed will lie whenever they think it meshes with their broader objectives.

The most clear example comes from the lies told by Goodell at his pre-Super Bowl press conference in early 2014. The Rams crafted, with the help of the league office, a false narrative regarding the property Kroenke had purchased. And Goodell helped affirmatively push that false narrative.

“We’re going to try very hard to stay under the radar screen and nobody will know we bought it,” Kroenke told Goodell after buying the land in Inglewood. “We’ll stay hidden, which is what we want, for as long as we can.”

Per the report, the Rams and the league office collaborated at least twice on crafting public statements aimed at concealing Kroenke’s intentions. The goal was obvious. In March 2014, Kroenke and his partner in the land deal in Inglewood discussed the goal of keeping the plan to move the Rams there secret in order “to maximize 2014 ticket sales by avoiding any unnecessary publicity about the possible departure of the Rams.”

For its part, the league office deliberately tried to play dumb about Kroene’s plan. Former NFL executive Eric Grubman, for example, argued against asking Kroenke directly about his plans for the property.  “If we do, it is harder to play dunce,” Grubman wrote in an email in January 2014. “If we don’t we will not have his side.”

The league also advised the Rams to stay out of the story, deferring to Kroenke’s real-estate company. The Rams complied.

“As real estate developers, the Kroenke Organizations are involved in numerous real estate deals across the country and North America,” the Kroenke Group eventually said in a statement at the time. “We have yet to decide what we are going to do with the property.”

Rams COO Kevin Demoff told the same lie internally. “Our focus will remain 100% on putting the best team on the field for St. Louis in 2014 and beyond,” he wrote in email to team employees after a story broke that Kroenke planned to move the Rams to his new property in L.A.

Then came Goodell, who lied about Kroenke’s plans at the pre-Super Bowl press conference. “Stan is a very large developer on a global basis,” Goodell said. “He has land throughout the country and throughout the world. There are no plans, to my knowledge, of a stadium development.”

Those who follow the league closely aren’t surprised. Those who have read Playmakers are even less surprised. They lie. Pretty much every big company does, whenever it feels like the interests of the business require it.

It’s sad. But it’s true. And it really doesn’t have to be that way. Then again, liars don’t just roll out of bed one day and start lying. It becomes a habit, a way of life, a means to each and every end they want. They do it once, it works, so they keep doing it.

Indeed, years ago Kevin Demoff’s father, Marvin, told me regarding something another reporter had done, “You only lose your integrity once.” The good news, apparently, is once you’ve lost your integrity, you don’t have to worry about losing it anymore.

44 responses to “St. Louis lawsuit exhibits expose that Rams and NFL lied about planned L.A. move

  1. I didnt think it was possible for me to have less respect for Roger Goodell. And yet, here we are He’s done it again! What a bum.

  2. Get over it! STL has now lost two NFL teams and will never get another in this century! Go Avalanche!

  3. Goodell is a criminal. Arrest, try and convict the despicable low life oligarch.

  4. Since all you say is true about NFL business, etc., what do you now think about the government and the covid vaccine? Do you honestly think you have been told the truth? Big Pharma is no less corrupt and no less a bunch of liars than is the NFL. Government is the same. By your own words . . .

  5. Add this to the tuck rule, fixing games, giving Kapernick an opportunity to play, tanking, etc, etc, etc.

  6. I’m not surprised by any of this, can’t say I’m not bummed out though. I’m just so tired of the lies.

  7. Goodell lied and fabricated evidence about bountygate to lessen the lawsuit amount from the concussions. Is anybody suprised he’s just a sniveling little snake.

  8. Everybody lies, for all kinds of reasons, and we just prefer to ignore our own lies and be self righteous about other people’s lies.

  9. I’m not into cancel culture. But if something offends my sensibilities, I avoid it. The NFL is starting to really offend my sensibilities. I’ve canceled my sunday ticket last season. I haven’t bought gear for a few years now. I still keep tabs and watch what’s on my local stations but maybe I’ll start bowling again on Sundays.

  10. Regardless of who said what, how does a municipality get awarded money beyond what they spent on the stadium proposal? The city doesn’t own the team and doesn’t have any actual operating loses. You can’t constantly play the ‘cities shouldn’t build NFL teams stadiums’ card and then shun an owner for building a new stadium with his own money somewhere he’d be able to recover the investment. That was never going to happen in St Louis.

  11. No one should be surprised, this move was obvious once STL Regional leadership elected to not upgrade the Dome per the arbitration decision. Only a boy scout wouldn’t have seen this coming. However, it does open up other questions of “integrity” at the Commish’s office. For example, the Spygate tapes – they were destroyed because they contained no evidence of wrong-doing. Funny how the NFL wanted the information from the STL lawsuit destroyed because I guess it didn’t contain evidence of wrong-doing also.

  12. Rams never belonged in St. Louis in the first place. It’s not a football town and couldn’t sustain the Cards or the Rams. Be happy for what you had St. Louis, cause football ain’t coming back to you for a LONG time.

  13. The team never would have went there in the first place if it weren’t for shady Georgia Frontiere. St. Louis is a baseball city and I doubt they’ll ever get another NFL team.

  14. Why would anyone expect Goodell, who is a puppet of the owners, to have any integrity???? He will say what they want him to say, that’s why they pay him millions!!

  15. The NFL stands for No F’n Loyalty. St Louis was screwed by the Nfl and they think that giving money to politicians, lobbyists and lawyers is going to make St Louis fans forgive them for taking football out of St Louis is completely stupid. St Louis fans wants a Team not worthless money that goes to politicians. St Louis fans wants a Team not watch Kansas city games on CBS.

  16. I encouraged all St Louisans to boycott the Nfl. Teams like the packers and cheifs voted against you keeping a nfl team and expects you to root for them. Tell Fox and cbs that St Louis doesn’t belong to the nfl. Replace Nfl games on Fox and CBS and NBC with something else. No NFL game deserves to air in St Louis.

  17. NFL moto is greed is good.

    St. Louis and San Diego want their teams back.

  18. Duh. These guys have more money than most of us can possibly even fathom and are never held accountable for anything, and business is better than ever for the NFL. The only owner who has faced repercussions in recent years is Jerry Richardson. Even Dan Snyder is still hanging around. And Goodell never has faced any repercussions for anything. Sure they might lose a few million dollars, but they’ll make that back so quickly. So the fact that they bypass rules and laws is no surprise. They are allowed to do it and literally always get away with it.

  19. Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones aren’t right very often but they were absolutely correct about the need to fire Goodell.

  20. Every Fortune 500 company in the country does the same thing, everyday.


  21. sugarbears says:
    May 13, 2022 at 8:22 pm
    Get over it! STL has now lost two NFL teams and will never get another in this century! Go Avalanche!

    St. Louis supported a Cardinals franchise that made the playoffs like 3 times in 50 years and left because the city wouldn’t build a new stadium, the city they moved to in 1987, didn’t build them one until what? 2006?

    The fans supported the Rams until Kroenke took over ownership and the Rams had one of the worst stretches of seasons in NFL history.

    St. Louis and Missouri tried to appease the Rams but in the end, it wouldn’t have mattered what they did because Kroenke was moving them regardless.

  22. I don’t know why anyone is surprised by this. People lie, businesses lie, we all have lied to someone in life about something and anyone who said they haven’t lied is a liar. The NFL wanted to be back in Los Angeles and were willing to do just about anything to achieve that goal. What’s going to cost them? Money? Their reputation? The NFL is biggest sport in this country. It’s a multi billion dollar business. They’re literally printing money. Those who will say they’re tired of the NFL and won’t watch or something to that matter. Well guess what? The NFL won’t miss you. They’ve plenty of other fans that will continue to watch and support the NFL.

  23. Each revelation of the lies and double-dealing that make the NFL a success make it more and more difficult to focus only on the games. Is there anything in pro football above suspucion and beyond reproach?

  24. Each revelation of the lies and double-dealing that make the NFL a success make it more and more difficult to focus only on the games. Is there anything in pro football above suspicion and beyond reproach?

  25. Why does it matter? The St Louis site was not a good business choice for many reasons. It is a much more valuable franchise for the business in LA. That is fact.

  26. Welcome to the business world. How can anyone be surprised about this?

  27. Bountygste was also a lie. It was meant to cover for the concussion lawsuits. Remember, the data shows that the Saints were one of the teams least likely to injure opponents during those “bounty” years. Many teams had betting pools, or “bounties” as the league calls them. But, Goodell needed a scapegoat and he personally hates Sean Payton.

    The NFL lies all the time.

  28. Ok, so the NFL lied. Also the sun rose in the east this morning. Tune in tomorrow for another chapter of things you should just expect.

  29. I am not a St. Louis person, but I am familiar with the area because my daughter goes to school there. It’s a great sports town and the fans there deserved better. But it wasn’t surprising; the LA market is too lucrative to pass up. Fans in Buffalo, Cincinnati and especially Jacksonville should keep their heads on a swivel, because the same thing could happen to your team with an ownership change.

  30. Stan Kroenke was rich before he married a Walton. He didn’t get rich by being un-crooked. Just look at the history regarding people who’ve worked for him.

  31. Of course they lie what they pay Rodger for is to lie take the heat but we all keep eating up the games so they keep doing it

  32. It’s one thing to expect a lie, and another to accept a lie.
    Having integrity means making difficult decisions, and being committed to them regardless of whether “everyone does it” or not.

  33. Goodell has to go! The commish should be an ex-hall of fame player voted in by the players. I remember him banning Zeke the max of 6 games for domestic assault, when it was all fabricated and hearsay by the gold digger of a lady. There wasnt even a police report, and multiple txt showed she was trying to set him up!

  34. It seemed pretty obvious during the (fake) discussions about building a new stadium in St. Louis that Kroenke wanted to move the team, regardless of what St. Louis offered. Frontiere moved the team from LA in the 90s just to get a big payday.

    The lying isn’t surprising, but if the NFL is truly interested in the “integrity of the shield” then they should try to keep teams in their traditional home cities and not allow owners to use threats to move a team to leverage public money out of NFL fanbases.

  35. kroenkewannabecheat says:
    May 13, 2022 at 9:39 pm
    No one should be surprised, this move was obvious once STL Regional leadership elected to not upgrade the Dome per the arbitration decision. Only a boy scout wouldn’t have seen this coming.

    St. Louis made the right decision when they chose not to upgrade the dome. Arbitrators ruled in favor of the Rams, based on their lease agreement, and would have had to spend $700 million dollars to bring the dome up to spec.

    By the time renovations would have been completed, the Rams would have had what would have been virtually a brand new stadium, paid for by taxpayers, and a 9 year lease. Kroenke would have certainly left for Los Angeles or demanded another new stadium by 2025 when their original lease was scheduled to run out in St. Louis.

    Renovate the dome now for $700 million and likely be forced to build a new stadium in 2025 at the tune of $2 billion dollars (or more) or try to build a new stadium in 2014 for $300 million more ($1 billion) and get the Rams to sign another 30 year lease.

    I’m sure the leadership in St. Louis noticed the trend that new stadiums continue to get more and more expensive as the years go by and decided that spending $700 million on a renovated stadium (while they broke ground in Minneapolis on a new stadium with a price tag of $1 billion) wasn’t a good investment.

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