League commissioner Roger Goodell presented the Los Angeles Rams with the Lombardi Trophy in February but has often been portrayed as the NFL's public enemy No. 1. At least that's how it seems as fans take part in playfully (or seriously) booing him at the draft every April.
But Goodell, 63, came under some pressure Tuesday as he addressed the league at the annual Spring League Meeting in Atlanta.
When asked by reporters about evidence obtained from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that showed the league and Goodell knew about Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchasing land for SoFi Stadium despite the commissioner denying such knowledge prior to the Super Bowl in 2014, Goodell denied knowing of Kroenke's plans to relocate.
Kroenke, Goodell, McVay
Goodell & Kroenke
“Stan is a very large developer on a global basis," Goodell said in 2014. "He has land throughout the country and throughout the world. There are no plans, to my knowledge, of a stadium development.”
Take that statement into account when reviewing his response to the matter on Tuesday:
"I would tell you, first standpoint, I don’t agree with your assumption on what you conclude,” Goodell said. “Second of all, those processes end up being very public. Very transparent. And I think everyone understands exactly what the club needs and what the community wants to do. And they try to work to reach that kind of an agreement. But none of us want to see relocations. We’ve always said we work hard to avoid those. When they happen, they’re painful for everyone. And we do our best to avoid that.
Reporters did not ask the commissioner a follow-up question on the matter.
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So, what exactly did the Post-Dispatch's evidence consist of?
Kroenke & McVay
Kroenke & McVay
Per the report, it showed that Kroenke and Goodell collaborated with the intent of staying "hidden."
“We’re going to try very hard to stay under the radar screen and nobody will know we bought it,” Kroenke reportedly told Goodell after buying the land. “We’ll stay hidden, which is what we want, for as long as we can.”
Additionally, Kroenke, who already has a net worth of over $12 billion, reportedly wanted "to maximize 2014 ticket sales by avoiding any unnecessary publicity about the possible departure of the Rams.”
A Rams' Super Bowl win has certainly helped lighten the negativity surrounding the matter. But regardless of whether or not Kroenke and Goodell participated in lies to the league and St. Louis Rams fans, the NFL world will likely never hear the real truth come from the mouths of two of the NFL's most powerful figures.
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