According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, Goodell was the target of boos and heckling when he was on the field at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, before New England's season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday.
Kalyn Kahler of Sports Illustrated pointed out this is Goodell's first trip to Gillette Stadium for a regular-season game since the Deflategate controversy dominated NFL headlines. The league suspended quarterback Tom Brady four games in a process that was dragged out for an extended period and even went to court.
According to Kahler, Goodell planned on finishing his pregame duties well before Thursday's contest began so he was off the field before many fans arrived. What's more, the Patriots didn't plan on showing Goodell on the video screens.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post suggested the strategy appeared to work for the commissioner:
This is not the first time Patriots fans had the chance to boo Goodell in person after Deflategate. They greeted him with loud boos as he handed team owner Robert Kraft the Lombardi Trophy following New England's Super Bowl win to end the 2017 season.
Kahler noted Barstool Sports was involved in the anti-Goodell sentiment in New England on Thursday because it spent $140,000 to make 70,000 rally towels for fans which showed the commissioner with a clown nose.