By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Roger Goodell didn’t have to do or say anything at the 2016 NFL Draft to garner boos from the crowd or draw the ire of his players. He did anyway, showing his face at the podium for much of the weekend and basically becoming a WWE heel in the process.
Goodell also couldn’t resist making himself look more obtuse, insensitive, and incompetent with the sludge that spews from his mouth. When asked about the drama surrounding tackle Laremy Tunsil and his surprising drop in the draft following some leaked videos on social media, Goodell basically told ESPN’s Mike & Mike that Tunsil’s unfortunate night was a good thing.
“I think it’s all part of what makes the draft so exciting,” Goodell said. “Clubs make decisions. Sometimes they take risks. Sometimes they do the right things. Sometimes they don’t, and we’ll see.”
NFLPA president Eric Winston unloaded on his Twitter account in the wake of the Tunsil debacle and Goodell’s comments. Here’s what he had to say…
Winston essentially told Tunsil, and the hundreds of other players who just got drafted or signed, loud and clear that Goodell and the NFL does not really have their best interests in mind.
Goodell also made comments regarding player discipline, claiming that the NFLPA wants to eliminate discipline entirely – an aggressively cynical straw man argument of the highest order. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith tweeted in response: “SMH [shaking my head]. Welcome to my world. Maybe now the public understands why players and I insist on having certain owners in the room to get things done.”
The Players Association partially has itself to blame for creating a monster in Goodell, whose power is practically unlimited when it comes to player discipline and whose public comments never lead to any consequences. But, whomever is to blame for where the league and NFLPA are at these days, it’s clear that the rift between the two parties is only widening. The expiration date for the current CBA after the 2020 season becomes more ominous the closer it gets.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.