All of a sudden, when Colin Kaepernick is on the table, Roger Goodell has no football expertise. Go figure.
Photo by Kirby Lee—USA TODAY Sports
Today, the NFL trolleyed out its life-sized wax museum figurine of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to Fox Sports' newest version of Two Dudes Yelling Between a Woman show to have it mindlessly mouth out some high-gloss, PR-friendly language about the league. I'm sure there were some parameters requested by Goodell and Co. about what was on topic and what was off topic, but former wide receiver Cris Carter had other plans, as he threw Goodell a necessary, albeit well-padded, question about why Colin Kaepernick isn't playing in the league.
Kaepernick's blacklisting from the NFL is the topic in sports, one that has brought on massive protests speaking up for Kaepernick, his skill, and his activism in the Black Lives Matter movement in the NFL. It's a story Goodell wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole ordinarily, but forced to confront it on television, Goodell painted himself into such a tiny corner that he had to trigger his last-ditch trap door to find his way out of his logical dissonance. "I'm no football expert." Yes, that was the Commissioner of the National Football League's answer.
Just take a look, in case you're having a hard time believing it:
If you're in headphoneless work hole, here's how the exchange went down:
"With you, being the commissioner," Carter finished up after a long introduction, "are you troubled by Colin Kaepernick not being on the opening day roster in the NFL?"
"You know, CC, the thing we're always about is meritocracy and opportunity," Goodell lied. "I want to see everyone get an opportunity—including Colin—but those are decisions made by football people." Goodell rambled on, talking about how teams make their choices based on their needs—the implication being that nobody needs a QB like Kaepernick right now.
After Carter's co-host Nick Wright saw Goodell evading the question and passing the buck onto individual coaches, he decided to press further, asking, "When you watched Colin, did he strike you as a guy that's good enough to be in the league?"
"Well one thing I do as a commissioner is I don't make those decisions. I'm not a football expert. I'm a huge fan, I have a role as commissioner also, but for me, I watch the games and enjoy it and I let the football people make those decisions."
One thing I do as commissioner is I don't things. Got it.
There is perhaps no better example of the milquetoast NFL's front facing apparatus than the milquetoast NFL commissioner dodging a question by pleading ignorance. Yes, Mr. Commissioner, you are certainly not a talent evaluator or scout. But you are the goddamned commissioner with collectively-bargained authority virtually unheard of and an appetite to wield whatever expertise you feel like claiming to match it.
When it suits him, Goodell has no problem playing the expert on topics like the Ideal Gas Law, domestic violence, the fucking intricacies of the brain, marijuana, municipal economics, TV ratings, sexually suggestive acts. We could go on (and on and on and on), but we are fast approaching the point, which is this: he's always wrong.
So, on this one thing we can all agree, Roger: it doesn't matter if you claim to be or not, you are definitely not a football expert.