Jerry Jones Goes to War Against Roger Goodell
Cowboys owner hires high-profile lawyer to block NFL Commissioner's contract extension.
Between strain of presidential and public outrage over players kneeling during the national anthem, and low ratings, the National Football League has been facing immense pressure this year. But now, the league has to deal with an all-out war between one of its most powerful owners, Jerry Jones, and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, reports The New York Times.
Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has threatened to sue the league and some fellow team owners over negotiations to extend Goodell’s contract, sources told The Times. The newspaper reports that, last week, Jones told six owners on the league’s compensation committee that he had hired high=profile lawyer Dvid Boies. Boies is currently under intense scrutiny for assisting Harvey Weinstein with his numerous sexual assault and harassment cases.
Jones told the six owners that legal papers were drawn up and would be served this Friday if the committee did not get rid of or delay plans to extend the commissioner’s contract. As of Wednesday, the owners and league had not been sued, reports The Times.
Jones and Goodell’s dispute started when Goodell suspended Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys’ best running back, who was accused by his former girlfriend of domestic violence. Goodell gave Elliott a six-game suspension, though it has yet to be enforced, having gone through multiple rulings and court appeals, all while Elliott continues to play. Jones called the suspension an “overcorrection.” Goodell has previously been accused of being too lenient on his players.
The Times writes that Jones’ goal appears to be to hold up Goodell’s contract extension and potentially push him out, but he doesn’t have much support from the other owners. While they might be disappointed with the way he has handled certain issues, they are not prepared to push him out. Goodell has been commissioner for more than a decade and he started with the league in the early 1980s. At a league meeting in May, all 32 owners voted to extend his contract, but after Elliott’s suspension, Jones changed his mind.
After the conference call last week, Jones was removed as an ad hoc member of the compensation committee, which decides the pay for the top league officials.
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