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Deford: Is Goodell Good Enough To Lead The NFL?

NPR | July 30, 2014 10:59 a.m.

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Frank Deford

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at a press conference in May. Goodell's handling of concerns about concussions and controversies surrounding players have led commentator Frank Deford to wonder whether Goodell is up to the job.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at a press conference in May. Goodell's handling of concerns about concussions and controversies surrounding players have led commentator Frank Deford to wonder whether Goodell is up to the job.

David Goldman, AP

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s piddling suspension of Ray Rice of the Ravens for a mere two games for Rice’s apparent violent attack upon his then-fiancee, now wife, has been met with shock and disappointment.

But for now, never mind Ray Rice. The larger question is whether Goodell is good enough to serve as the leader of the NFL.

Football is not only the most popular game in this country, but something more than that. In today’s divided America, what other entertainment — what other institution — means so much to so many people, across all of our class, educational, racial and ethnic spectra?

Don’t we need someone of greater stature at the helm of the NFL? Someone who appreciates that he should, if only symbolically, be the steward of all of football America? It is the power of football today that begs for a leader with greater perspective and sensitivity.

Click on the audio link above to hear Deford’s take on the issue.

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