King On NFL Owners Meetings

The major news item to come out of this fall’s NFL owners meetings in New York was the approval of Terry Pegula and Kim Pegula as the new owners of the Bills. However, that order of business was out of the way early on Wednesday, since it took about “15 seconds” for the league’s other owners to officially sign off on the Pegulas’ bid. As Peter King of writes, a handful of other topics were addressed at the meetings as well. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Domestic violence was an area of focus during the meetings, with the NFL’s owners recognizing that it’s an issue that resonates with football fans and NFL consumers. While there’s an understanding that the league needs to respond aggressively to the issue, there was no consensus on when a player involved in a domestic violence case should come off the field. As King writes, several hours of discussion, education, and debate made it clear that there’s “no obvious answer” on whether it should take a conviction to remove a player from his team, or merely an accusation, charge, or indictment.
  • Owners believe that commissioner Roger Goodell should cede authority when it comes to disciplining domestic abuse violators and other similar cases. There’s a sense that Goodell can be relied upon for issues related to integrity to the game, such as bounties or cheating, but that a neutral panel or single czar should handle other discipline cases, especially related to legal issues.
  • Unsurprisingly, the owners continue to support Goodell, and feel as if he didn’t seem intimidated by the criticism he’s endured in recent weeks. One NFC executive told King that the commissioners “showed contrition without being meek.”
  • The future of football in Los Angeles is “percolating,” writes King. There’s nothing imminent at this point, but fans in Oakland, St. Louis, and San Diego “should be wary.”
  • Owners were impressed by one of the league’s newest hires, Lisa Friel, who has been tasked with helping to establish a policy on domestic violence. “I liked what I heard,” said Giants president and CEO John Mara. “She was tough and very thorough.”
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