Why Ray Edwards Is Wrong about Roger Goodell

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IFebruary 18, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell watches teams warm up prior to the start of Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Yep, you heard me.

Minnesota Vikings defender Ray Edwards recently questioned the salary of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Edwards believes that Goodell should not earn more than $10 million because players put themselves at grave risk by playing in the NFL.

I agree and disagree. 

That, though, might be a surprise to anyone familiar with my articles. 

Anyone who knows my work knows my inclinations towards bone-chilling hyperboles and other literary devices of egoclasm (yes, Virginia, I just concocted a word).

I like to think that Christ was the first equal opportunity offender. Yet I'm considering whether I should give up the fire-breathing rhetoric for Lent.

But I digress.

I have criticized Goodell's disciplinary policies as clearly disproportionate to the offense (or lack thereof) and without consistency; an inconsistency that has generally favored white players (Tom Brady, Jared Allen, Matt Leinart, Ben Roethlisberger, etc.) and has generally disfavored non-white players (Pacman Jones, Odell Thurman, Chris Henry, Tank Johnson, etc.).

All intended to be constructive criticism, not subversive criticism.

In this case, however, Edwards is off-base to question Goodell's salary.  For one, the NFL is the most profitable of the top four professional sports, yet Goodell earns less than MLB Commish Bud Selig and NBA Commish David Stern. Moreover, Goodell recently took a pay cut.

I'm not going to stoop to the nonsense that only Goodell could do what he does and that players are just bodies. The fact is, however, Goodell deserves to be fairly compensated for what he does, regardless of whether someone else could do the same thing. 

If anything, Goodell is underpaid as the head of a multibillion-dollar organization that is first amongst its competitors.