(National Sentinel) Self-Destruct: Influential Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may be leading an effort to unseat NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over his refusal to require players to stand during the playing of the national anthem as a sign of respect, as more fans abandon the game leaving stadiums half-empty and owners scrambling to save their bottom line.
But it’s the protesting players and the league’s inability to effectively deal with them that has Jones the most upset, the New York Post reports.
The Cowboys owner, who has given his players a mandate — stand during the anthem or sit on the bench for games — led a 17-owner conference call last week to discuss halting a pending contract extension for Goodell.
In addition to the protesting, owners are also upset with how Goodell and the league handled the relocation of teams to Los Angeles, as well as (still) the league’s messed-up handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.
“You don’t get to have this many messes over the years like Roger has had and survive it,” one owner said during the call, according to ESPN.
Twenty-four owners would have to approve in order to fire Goodell, and so far it does not appear that Jones has that kind of support. Many like that Goodell has made the league — and them — lots of money over the years.
“Maybe Arthur [Blank, the head of the compensation committee and owner of the Atlanta Falcons] and that committee think they’re on track,” an owner told ESPN about Goodell’s extension talks. “But they have a lot more resistance than they counted on — and maybe they don’t know how the resistance is growing as we speak.”
“The possibility exists that Jones’ lobbying is simply for leverage, trying to trim some zeroes off of Goodell’s new deal. Jones reportedly has long pushed the belief that Goodell, who has made more than $200 million as commissioner, is overpaid,” the Post noted.
Meanwhile, fans who do attend games are tweeting out pictures of half-empty stadiums all over the league, even for teams that once had solid followings.
Empty seats don’t automatically mean a dramatic loss of revenue, however. Many fans are season ticket holders who pay for a year’s worth of games in advance.
However, if the league continues to allow anthem protests, revenues during games will continue to fall, which will affect owners’ bottom lines and, most likely, future efforts to build new venues as more fans shun the game.
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