Roger Goodell’s $34M Salary Proves Bad PR Doesn’t Matter to the NFL

By Shawn Paul Wood Comment

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Last year was a public relations disaster for the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell.

From heinous examples of domestic abuse (e.g., Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson), to terrible referees, and then, of course, there was #DeflateGate.

And for his troubles, he pocketed $34 million in 2014, according to the NFL’s tax filing (via ESPN.com).

Regardless of what the 57-year-old commish did last year, nothing repaired his image. The media picked at him. The public hated him. And the players didn’t even trust him. However, in PR terms, the players are his audience… the owners are his clients.

Show-me-the-moneyIf the NFL was a PR agency and we misrepresented our clients in such a deplorable way, we would have been shown the door long ago.

Clients would have rejoiced to have that albatross gone because life would get better.

However, this is the NFL where we don’t care about scruples — it’s ‘Show me the money!’

The owners care about making money, and as long as the business is banking, they look the other way in times of crisis.

Look at the aforementioned bullies — two of the three had a job for the entire season. And why? They’re good at what they do. In the world of sports entertainment, that’s what matters. Personal safety and public image is a distant second.

Since 2006, Goodell has made an average of $20 million a year and a total of $180.5 million. Not bad for a “non-profit organization.”

The NFL has qualified as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit since 1942. That status means they don’t pay taxes on revenue that comes into the league office, though they do pay it on everything else — including TV rights fees, sponsorships and ticket sales — as the teams themselves are taxed.

The way the NFL owners snub their nose at the fans, and the incredulous way Goodell profits from it, is something that should be a case study of what’s wrong with this country. But, that would be a very short study because the answer is fame. 

For common people, we have to live life with scruples, perception, adherence to a moral code, and in accordance with the law. For athletes and celebrities, nothing matters but making us forget about our boring lives.

As long as that double standard exists, PR doesn’t count for the beautiful people. Nothing sullies their image as long as people don’t stop watching.

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