Roger Goodell Threatens Employees to Keep Quiet in Memo: TRAINA THOUGHTS


1. Ever since the coronavirus exploded in this country and we were put on lockdown, I've tried to keep things light in Traina Thoughts. I've wanted to keep the criticizing to a minimum, because quite frankly, we don't need that right now. We should all be coming together, helping each other and doing whatever we can to make sure everyone stays home.

For weeks, I've thought the NFL has been totally tone deaf and classless in going about its business as if nothing at all is happening around the country right now. But outside of mentioning that on my SI Media Podcast, I've resisted writing about the league's callousness.

That changes today thanks to this:

Yes, Dictator Goodell is ready to take action against anyone from the league who questions the NFL's decision to go ahead with the draft on April 23.

As of this writing, more than 80,000 people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

A record 3.3 million people filed for unemployment last week because of lost jobs due to the coronavirus.

But for the NFL, it's business as usual. And business as usual for the NFL is money, money and more money.

Nobody knows what this country will look like on April 23. Nobody knows whether people will be back to work. Nobody knows whether we will have flattened the curve. But if you work for the NFL, don't you dare mention that. Put a smile on your face and talk about how excited you are to see Joe Burrow get drafted by the Bengals!

And you don't have to criticize the NFL to get in trouble with Roger. His memo states "public discussion of issues relating to the draft."

This puts every single person who works for NFL Network in a terrible spot, because they have to act like they are totally pumped up for the draft and everything is totally normal right now.

I know many of you reading this will tell me that no employee should publicly question their boss, but it's Goodell's robotic and soulless way that he conveys his message that's so off-putting.

How about, "Listen, I know there are crazy times, but we're going to go forward with the draft and it would be helpful if NFL employees didn't criticize the decision publicly"?

Instead, in a time when nerves are at an all-time high, he threatens disciplinary action; just what employees fearful of losing their job need right now.

It's almost as if he knows that his decision to keep the NFL running as usual during this time of crisis has been completely oblivious and embarrassing, but he just doesn't want to get called out on it.

2. You've most likely seen this already, but on the opposite end of the Goodell spectrum, we have Drew Brees. The Saints QB is donating $5 million to Louisiana to help the state battle the coronavirus.

Brees was interviewed about his extremely generous donation on the Today show Friday, and host Hoda Kotb, who used to live in New Orleans, was overcome with emotion, which made for a powerful moment.

In addition to Brees, Fanatics came through in a huge way Thursday, announcing that it would help make much-needed masks and gowns for hospital workers.

3. Good stuff here from former MLB pitcher Dan Haren. Would love to see more athletes share inside footage during this time.

4. Giannis's finding out his girlfriend is a Lakers fan was enjoyable.

5. Author, reporter and podcast host James Andrew Miller is the guest on this week's SI Media Podcast. Miller went in depth on what ESPN could do with its Monday Night Football booth now that the network has been snubbed again by Peyton Manning.

In the second half of the podcast, Miller and I break down the Curb Your Enthusiasm season finale and review Season 10.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

6. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: This is the most underrated funny scene in Sopranos history.

7. SPORTS HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: We could all use a little Bartolo Colon right now.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.