It would be an understatement to say that the NFL is in dire straights. For weeks now, the league’s been dealing with an ever-worsening crisis of player protests, which are riling up fans and causing them to change the channel.
While the numbers of protesters has lessened the last few Sundays, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s memo this week, asking owners and players to respect the flag and stand, might actually have a negative affect on the protests due to the near ubiquitous disdain for him. While we wait and see how players respond on Sunday, an even bigger crisis may be just underway, one that involves the commissioner’s wife.
As reported at the Daily Mail, Goodell’s wife, Jane Skinner, has admitted that she used a secret Twitter account to take on critics of her husband for years.
On Thursday, it came out that Skinner ran a now-deleted Twitter account @forargument under the generic name “Jones Smith” to take on critics.
“It was a REALLY silly thing to do and done out of frustration—and love,'” Mrs. Goodell said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the fake account.
Unfortunately for her and her husband, what’s put on the internet lives forever. Before the account was deleted, screenshots of the tweets and conversations were taken.
“Reads like a press release from players’ union,” the account tweeted to ESPN writer Seth Wickersham after he published a story about how President Trump’s comments have affected the league and protesters.
The tweet also said “You can do better reporting. (D Smith sounds like D Trump with the inaccurate firebombs),” the account said, in reference to reference to the NFL players’ union head DeMaurice Smith.
Many of the conversations Skinner had on the account were with frustrated journalists, who spent a surprising amount of effort fighting with the no-name Twitter user. “It’s been corrected. Thanks for looking out,” wrote journalist Jared Dubin in January 2015, after Skinner pointed out an inaccuracy. Dubin added minutes later: “It’s a fairly small piece of info that doesn’t have much — if any — effect on the crux of the story and has been corrected.”
Reporter Gabriel Sherman can be seen responding to the account over complaints about his story’s sourcing, writing: “I always strive for on the record sources but reporting on a powerful institution like NFL means only some speak anonymously.”
Mrs. Skinner, a former on-air reporter for several Fox affiliates, claims it was her background in journalism that spurred her to make the fake account and defend her husband against unfair reporting.
“As a former media member, I’m always bothered when the coverage doesn’t provide a complete and accurate picture of a story,” she said in her statement to the WSJ.
“I’m also a wife and a mom. I have always passionately defended the hard-working guy I love—and I always will. I just may not use Twitter to do so in the future!“
I can only imagine what the conversation between Goodell and his wife was like Thursday night. The commissioner is already looked at as a man that can’t take criticism and refuses to listen to anyone but himself, and now that we have his wife antagonizing journalists who already don’t like him, it’s sure to spark a flurry of criticism. And at the worst time imaginable. The question now becomes: How much longer does Goodell have left as NFL commissioner?
Source: Daily Mail