NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk writes that “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to go back to Mexico, and no wall will stop him.”
The statement suggests that President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall will prevent Americans from crossing the nation’s southern border. Either just a bad joke or a demonstration of pure ignorance, the comment fails to recognize that the construction of the wall is designed to protect the nation from those who want to enter the country illegally not to restrict Americans from leaving the country.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called the game between the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, along with the 49ers and Cardinals excursion into Mexico in 2005, an “incredible success so far.” The commissioner added, “I’m optimistic we’ll be back.”
The Raiders won the contest 27-20 in front of over 103,000 fans.
Goodell avoided any reference to the wall or the president-elect but hinted at existing tension between the U.S. and its southern neighbor. “For us, this is about the future and continuing to grow and to reach more fans…. This isn’t about politics.”
The commissioner insists the message the NFL sends by playing a game in Mexico “is about uniting people.” He observed that “you’ll see fans in Mexico enjoying America’s favorite sport, football, and that’s a great thing for us to all come together behind.”
Goodell failed to observe, or perhaps simply chose not to mention, the embarrassing display of homophobia exhibited by a large segment of the stadium inhabitants. At one point during Monday night’s game on the ensuing kick-off after a field goal, the chant of “puto” was heard loud and clear by the ESPN broadcast. Puto in Spanish usually means homosexual or a derogatory term for a male prostitute. The commissioner would likely weigh in on such a vulgar chant if it happened at an American NFL venue.
In March, Goodell voiced his disapproval of Georgia bill HB 757 which asserted “religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion.” The LGBTQ community widely denounced the measure as hostile to their core values. Goodell suggested that support of the bill could work against the state’s chances to host the Super Bowl at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2019 and 2020.