Things are about to get ugly in the NFL. And I'm talking bulldog ugly. Predator without the mask ugly.
Things have already gotten so bad that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is threatening to sue the NFL if commissioner Roger Goodell's contract is renewed. Jones certainly has some support from some of the other NFL owners, but he needs 75 percent of the owners to agree to ouster the controversial commish.
Here are some of the controversies during the Goodell era…
• Concussions and CTE: The league's knowledge of traumatic brain injuries and the long-term effects…the class-action lawsuit that followed and the inconsistent protocol for concussions during games.
• Bountygate: Goodell suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton for an entire season, and suspended other players for head-hunting hits for money. Many of the players testified under oath that bounties were never paid, but Payton missed an entire year without any hard evidence.
• Redskins: Goodell likes to stay out of the spotlight on this issue of whether or not the logo, name and mascot of the Washington franchise is a racist symbol.
• Spygate: Goodell ordered all spying tapes from when the New England Patriots taped the New York Jets during a game turned over. Goodell then destroyed the tapes for some reason.
• Ray Rice: Goodell gave Rice a two-game suspension after the Baltimore Ravens running back punched and knocked out his then-fiance during an elevator confrontation. He later increased the punishment to an indefinite suspension, which was later overturned.
• Deflategate: Goodell spent millions of dollars and nearly two years playing "gotcha" with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in regards to an alleged deflation of footballs during a game. The back-and-forth drama ended the following season with Brady being suspended four games for the controversy — twice the suspension that Ray Rice received.
• Rule changes: Nobody knows what a catch is. There is, apparently, no place on a quarterback's body you can hit without getting a flag or a fine. Players and coaches still don't know. Ask them, and you could get 32 different answers.
• Taxes: Since the anthem protests have grown and Goodell refuses to do anything about it, the NFL has ticked off President Donald Trump so much that he is threatening to revoke tax breaks for NFL stadiums. In a report from Watchdog.org, the NFL has collected about $7 billion of taxpayer money to spend on stadiums and renovations, while earning $14 billion in revenue. This league is certainly not so poor it can't afford to pay its own taxes.
• Free speech inconsistency: The handling of the national anthem protests is hurting viewership and attendance to NFL games since Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the anthem last season. Kaepernick hasn't played this season and is without a team, but other players are carrying on his protests. The NFL won't ban kneeling, but Goodell has banned other forms of "freedom of speech" in the past, such as...
1. Made Tim Tebow remove John 3:16 from his eye black;
2. Fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders;
3. Robert Griffin III wore a shirt which read "Know Jesus, Know Peace" to a press conference and was told to turn it inside out;
4. DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing "Find a Cure" on his eye black for breast cancer awareness;
5. William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence;
6. Goodell prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmets to honor the five Dallas police officers who were killed in the line of duty;
7. Goodell threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to honor the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
• Elliott: Is Zeke Elliot suspended or not? Is there any proof of him battering a woman? If so, why is he not in jail. Why has he not missed a game yet this season? Why can't Goodell make this suspension stick, and why does Elliot get six games and Rice only got two?
I don't really know why Jones is suing. What is the end game? Just to ouster Goodell? Or does he have a guy in mind to take the spot? Everyone agreed in the last collective bargaining agreement to give Goodell god-like power to do as he sees fit. He is the judge, jury and executioner.
The NFL is at a critical point of its life. Politics at every game has turned away many NFL fans, including hall of fame broadcaster
Vin Scully who recently announce, "I will never watch another NFL game."
Anthem protests are not a small problem if respected icons of sports are turning the channel.