Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds kicked off a Wednesday House committee hearing with NFL chief Roger Goodell asking, “What is the purpose of continuing this?” and blasting the hearing as a meaningless waste of time.
While Commanders owner Dan Snyder declined to appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, NFL chief Roger Goodell did appear and set out to inform Congress about the steps the league has taken over the allegations of sexual harassment in the Washington Commanders’ organization.
Commanders owner Daniel Snyder had been accused of sexually harassing a team employee in April of 2009. It was only one of many such accusations of trouble inside the football club. Snyder denied the claims, but the team ultimately agreed to pay a $1.6 million settlement over the accusations.
Early this year, the NFL launched an internal investigation into the allegations, and on Wednesday, Goodell told the committee members that it had taken several measures to address the situation. He added that the “toxic” workplace no longer exists in the team’s offices.
Immediately after Goodell’s opening comments, Donalds, a conservative black House member from Florida’s 19th District, interrupted the chair asking why the hearing had even been convened when there were so many other important things to explore, not to mention that it appears that the NFL had already addressed the matter.
Things are getting feisty: After Roger Goodell finished his opening remarks, Rep. Byron Donalds, a Florida republican, jumped in saying this entire hearing is a waste of time.
"You can bang the gavel all you want, but I don't really care."
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) June 22, 2022
After Goodell’s opening statement, Rep. Donalds quickly interjected a “point of parliamentary inquiry” before Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D, NY) could even finish introducing herself as chair of the hearing.
The Florida Rep. then noted that the law states that House committee hearings must be focused on “a legitimate task of Congress,” and as far as he was concerned, the NFL’s internal business has nothing to do with Congress.
“How does continuing this hearing actually relate to a legitimate act of Congress?” Donalds wondered aloud.
He went on to cite many other more important issues than the NFL, including record-high inflation, record-high gas prices, an utterly unsecured border, a fentanyl crisis, and other issues.
Maloney then tried to shut him down, saying that he had not offered any “points of parliamentary inquiry,” even as Donalds pressed his point, concluding, “You can bang the gavel all you want, but I don’t really care. What is the purpose of continuing this, Madam Chair? That is a parliamentary inquiry.” He then asked again how the topic of the hearing furthered a legitimate congressional task.