Cory’s Corner: Stop relying on sponsors and do your job NFL

I realize money makes the world go ’round, but should it also be a moral compass?

Adrian Peterson was set to play in Sunday’s game before Radisson Hotels and Anheuser-Busch stepped in. The question is, why does it have to go to those lengths?

Commissioner Roger Goodell had the chance to take a stand against criminal activity that has permeated the NFL by “protecting the shield.” However, Goodell was absent for over a week, leaving himself and his $44 million salary a national punching bag.

The reason why Peterson, Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald and arguably the worst man of all in Jonathan Dwyer are now being talked about is because of social networking and the ability of anyone to turn into a reporter with the flick of an iPhone.

Just because it is being unearthed in 2014 doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening in 1982. It just means that it’s more public.

The NFL may think it doesn’t owe anyone anything for these problems. They may claim that these are simply the sins of society and these things that are not emblematic of the shield as a whole.

But when an organization is worth more than $9 billion and takes holidays hostage each year, you better believe that the NFL owes everyone something. This is a sport that gets watched during birthday parties, anniversaries, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas gift-opening and New Year’s blowouts.

It has appeared to be schedule-proof — judging by the egotistical Thursday night offering, despite the fact that the majority of those games are flat-out awful.

Yet, people still come to the stadium and people still plant themselves in front of a TV when their team comes on.

And after all that, the NFL didn’t have the courage to stand up and demand better. They failed to have the same expectations that the majority of its fans not only expect, but also live with on a daily basis.

And just when you couldn’t stand any more of this, the voice of reason is none other than capitalism. Yes, money spoke loud and proud and forced the Vikings to think twice about its punishment for Peterson.

So after sponsors did what the NFL was unable or unwilling to do, the NFL is left to clean up the mess. Goodell backpedaled more than a quarterback who is about to get sacked during his press conference on Friday.

He should send a huge thank-you to his sponsors — you know, the ones that also pay his bloated salary. Without those level-headed people, the NFL would still be trying to identify and execute a punishment for guys that have been entitled their entire life.

It sure is a good thing that future NFL player Jameis Winston makes excellent decisions which will impact future generations.

The NFL needs to get tough. Start kicking people out of the league. If you cannot handle yourself within the norms of society by treating women and children with respect, then you don’t deserve to put on NFL pads.

All week long I’ve heard arguments about how it’s hard for NFL players to psychologically turn off their adrenaline when they come off the field. That is such a weak excuse because legions of people have played football and never allowed domestic violence to even enter their mind.

A few of the NFL’s warts have now been exposed. Instead of relying on sponsors to handle the dirty work, it’s about time for Goodell and his minions to earn their money.

The NFL can get rid of the problems or become the problem. It’s your choice Goodell.


Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


19 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Stop relying on sponsors and do your job NFL

  1. Goodell isn’t any better than the thugs doing the crimes. If he spent half the time that he takes to try and “cover up” the incident and try to come up with a solution, he would be fine. He has a little bit of the NFL syndrome himself. I make 44 million you can’t touch me, I am god. This dumbazz has had 4 opportunities to do the right thing and has pissed down his leg once again. Money talks… take away his money and then he may just do his job. What a dickhead.

    1. He is doing his job, quite well I may add. He is “protecting the shield.”

      Money talks period, all this moral stuff is nonsense. What is moral for one is amoral to another.

      Not saying that this abuse is right, because it is brutal, but it is all about the cash my brother.

      All about the Benjamin’s.

      This guys are not role models, they are flawed human beings like all the rest of us. We are just flawed in different ways. No one is a saint, not even me!

      1. This. For everyone who claims Goodell is horrible at his job, there are 31 NFL owners and 1 NFL board that will tell you he’s doing an amazing job because the NFL is the country’s most popular sport and generating insane amounts of money.

        For those screaming about Goodell needs to better investigate… Why? For what? That’s the police, the jury, the judges job, not the NFL’s. If the NFL wants to react to anything, it should be the final findings and rulings of the criminal justice system… And even then, it’s at their discretion.

  2. Great job Cory! Those who have read my posts over the years know that I have been advocating for the NFL to clean up their act and get tougher on the criminal offenders who play in the league. There have been over 700 arrests of NFL players over the last 10 years for DUIs, substance abuse, vehicular homicide, murder, domestic violence, child abuse etc… Yet, under Goodell’s reign, he and the owners have remained focused on one money grab after another. Now they are reaping what they sow. Yesterday Goodell started out OK by apologizing but after that he basically said we’ll get back to you by the Super Bowl. The investigation that he is conducting will be a sham. The investigator and the firm he has hired are all bought and paid for the NFL and the owners. How will there any transparency in that case, especially with billions of dollars at stake. Goodell had about 10 days to come up with a plan. It’s actually very simple, if a player commits a violent crime, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, murder, to name a few, that player is out of the league, GONE. No 1st offense, second offense. GONE, 1st time. Why? If you are privileged to play in the league and earn millions and millions of dollars and you cannot decide not to hit a women or child or other violent crime then you cannot play in the league. Very simple, very clear. Goodell had a chance to take a big step for the league yesterday, he failed, again. If he can’t take that step he should resign. Notice how quick and effective the NBA handled the owner of the LA Clippers. GONE. Forced to sell the team. His offense is a lot less that what Ray Rice, or Peterson have done, to name just two. What has happeneded to this great league we were all once so proud to be fans of? Yesterday was a sad day for the NFL and the fans. The league is losing a lot worse than the Packers did to Seattle a few weeks ago. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Just for the record, the NBA didn’t handle the issue with Sterling quick and effective. They knew he was a racist for decades. It wasn’t until it went public and there was backlash and there was sponsorships in jeopardy that it was an issue they took action against.

      1. Oppy – I understand what you are saying, but when the NBA did act they acted decisively. Yesterday, Goodell apologized, OK, but then he said, basically, we’ll get back to you by the Super Bowl. That’s 5 months from now. Why? Is it that hard to say that you can’t play in this league if you commit a violent crime. Since ’61

    1. Actually the billions of dollars of revenue is the problem, combined with the owners greed, Goodell’s $44 million salary and his lack of integrity. As a result the NFL is reaping what they have sown. They may be popular but the are killing the golden goose with their arrogance. Remember, when a pig becomes a hog it gets slaughtered. I love the NFL, but they are setting themselves up to be slaughtered if they continue on their present course. Thanks, Since ’61

  3. “you better believe that the NFL owes everyone something”
    Stated like a true Millennial.

    Am I right? You’re a millennial, not a gen-x’er and certainly not a baby boomer, correct?

    I love football as much as the next guy, but I have zero self-centered fantasies about how a private business owes me anything.

    They offer a product. I buy it. Or, I don’t. They can run their business however they like. That might suit me, or it might not.

    However, the NFL certainly owes me, you, or anyone else outside of their employees and owners, exactly JACK SQUAT.

    Suck it up, buttercup. The world doesn’t revolve around you and you don’t get to share first place because you simply showed up and participated.

    1. Oppy – sorry, but I respectfully disagree with you. The league owes something to the victims of these violent crimes. BTW, I am a baby boomer. The league owes it to the victims to take a stand that says if you commit a violent crime, then you cannot play in this league. We do not allow our players to beat women, abuse children, commit sexual assault, vehicular homicide, murder, etc… I have worked for, consulted for, been a board member for some of the largest corporations in the world as well as a member of various foundations and fellowships in my industry. Everyone of those organizations has a code of conduct of policy that clearly defines unacceptable behavior that will result in termination of employment, contract or membership. There is no reason why the NFL cannot have such a policy for its players. It is the height of arrogance that they hide behind their “shield”, which Goodell and the current owners have made a mockery of. If they continue on their current path they will have sponsors leave, plus public outrage, and yes, the media will hound them. If that day comes we may lose our NFL. Goodell’s behavior is classic we have something to hide behavior, it’s time for him to go for the good of the league. Thanks, Since ’61

        1. Oppy – a corporate code of conduct policy has nothing to do with adjudicating a player’s behavior. As long as the code of conduct policy does not violate someone’s rights a corporation can enforce it. For example, if someone steals funds from a company the company can fire them but not necessarily press charges for the legal system to adjudicate. Also, most corporations prohibit sexual activity in their offices. No one will be arrested or go to jail but the employees will likely be fired. In the cases of Rice and Peterson, the NFL has seen what Ray Rice and Peterson have done. They have seen the videos of Rice’s incident and the photos of what Peterson did to a 4 year old child. They do not need anything further to take action, if they actually want to stand up for the victims. Aaron Hernández is going on trial for 3 murders, should he be playing in the NFL until he is convicted? I am not saying that anyone should be denied due process by the legal system, but why would you want these guys in the league? Why would the league want these guys, besides for TV ratings and ticket sales. Is that worth beating women and abusing children? Forget the legal side for the moment. Should they be held to a higher standard than the rest of us? Yes, absolutely! Why? Because they are making millions and millions of dollars for playing a game. It is a privilege to play professional sports. If they can’t conduct themselves without committing violent crimes then they should lose that privilege regardless of how the legal system deals with them. BTW, if they were Corporate employees and the corporation saw the Ray Rice video he would not be allowed to return. Depending on the company, they may or may not give him a separation package, but either way he would be gone, regardless of the legal system. The behavior needs to change and the NFL should be leading the way not hiding behind their “shield’ because right now that shield stands for greed, for lies, and contemptuous behavior. It needs to stand for the victims at least. Thanks, Since ’61

          1. The two examples you’ve listed involve actions taken against or at the place of employment- stealing or having sexual contact at the office.

            What Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson have been accused of is completely outside of the workplace, on their own time.

            If guilty, it is deplorable and I believe the NFL does have the right to terminate or otherwise punish, due largely to the fact they are in the public eye, and the actions of the players and coaches reflect on the NFL brand.

            That being said, as these are accusations for actions off the field, I believe the NFL should allow law enforcement and the judicial system to do their job and come to verdict. I do not believe the NFL, or any employer, should be launching their own investigation and coming to their own conclusions about potential criminal actions committed by their employees off the clock outside of supplying information to law enforcement agencies if and when requested.

            Of course, my stance is also that if they choose to allow a convicted player to play, that is also their prerogative. It is their brand and they are free to do with it what the want- they owe nothing to the fans. If the fans find it rubs them the wrong way, the fans have the right to choose to not support the NFL. It is that simple.

            1. Oppy – I think that we pretty much agree on everything here with the exception of where the NFL should stand on these issues. I agree that the NFL should not investigate crimes that take place off the field but where we disagree is what the NFL should do about it. If they don’t take action against players who commit crimes until they are convicted that could be OK, but at least come out and say that. Right now there is no position. I agree with you that the league owes nothing to the fans. I have been following sports too long to expect anything from the various leagues. However, if this situation does not get better, sponsors at some point will pull out. When that happens the league we have been fans of may change or be forced to change in way that ruin it for all of us. I hope the league pulls its head out of its current arrogance before that happens. I have enjoyed this discussion. Thanks Oppy. For now, Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    2. Sorry Oppy, participation trophies were not present when I was growing up. I’m Generation X. The NFL is now the nation’s pastime and as such, it needs to hold itself accountable. It is a private enterprise, but unlike McDonald’s, Wal-Mart or General Electric, the NFL is the most written and spoken about company in the U.S. With that kind of exposure comes tremendous responsibility. This kind of behavior would not be acceptable in any galaxy, but amazingly it seems like that it’s not that big of a deal to you. I would rather have someone owe me something rather than letting behavior like this continue.

  4. The NFL doesn’t “owe” me anything Cory. However, in the interest of self preservation (capitalism?), the NFL, and The Rog in particular need to make some serious changes quickly.

    1. The NFL as a private business, has no “business” being the moral police. Can you imagine how outraged you’d be if your employed suspended you without pay for weeks or months for an indiscretion you hadn’t even been convicted of in a court of law? You’d be ticked – and rightly so.

    2. The NFL (and The Rog in particular) has a serious inconsistency problem. HOW does Haslam or Wilf not get punished at all for bilching customers and colleagues tens of millions of dollars? Or Irsay gets a slap on the wrist (who cares if an owner can’t watch 4 games?) for reckless endangerment with a vehicle? Now contrast that with the discipline for the bounty scandal – particularly to Sean Payton.

    … the list could go on and on… Goodell’s schtick is old. He needs to go.

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