New England Patriots president Jonathan Kraft said that it might be time for the NFL to consider changing policies that currently leave league commissioner Roger Goodell as the ultimate authority on all disciplinary matters.
Kraft, son of team owner Robert Kraft, said on his weekly pregame radio interview this weekend that he was not just talking about Goodell’s handling of the “Deflategate” probe involving the Patriots.
Instead, he said it was the increasing complexity of non-sports issues that might warrant a change.
“The personal conduct policy and how discipline would be handled by the commissioner started under [former commissioner] Paul [Tagliabue] and was strengthened under Roger,” Jonathan Kraft said.
“I think the world has changed and the complexity of some of the situations — things that I don’t think we ever thought we would be dealing with, we’re dealing with,” Jonathan Kraft added.
Robert Kraft has criticized Goodell’s decision to uphold the four-game suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who allegedly knew that footballs used by the team in a key playoff game last season were intentionally deflated to below league air pressure minimum requirements.
However, Jonathan Kraft said his comments did not refer to “footballs and air pressure.”
Kraft did not mention specific cases, but the league and Goodell in particular came under scrutiny last year for the handling of domestic violence cases involving players.
“There probably needs to be a rethinking so that the league office and the commissioner aren’t put in a spotlight in a way that detracts from the league’s image and the game — even if the league office is doing the right thing, or the wrong thing, or whatever you think,” Jonathan Kraft said.
“I think it’s a general big-picture issue that needs to be addressed, but I don’t have any answers for you today,” he added.
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