Leagues and Governing Bodies

Former Papa John's CEO claims Cowboys' Jones, Commanders' Snyder wanted Goodell fired

In the fall of '17, John Schnatter said that Roger Goodell should have been more proactive in handling the league's controversiesMATT STONE/LOUISVILLE COURIER JOURNAL

Former Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter claimed that Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and Commanders Owner Dan Snyder wanted him to try to get NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "fired" in '17, "specifically for the manner in which Goodell was handing the national anthem controversy," according to Mike Florio of PRO FOOTBALL TALK. Schnatter appearing last month for an interview with Jason Whitlock said, “Snyder and Jones hate Goodell. I said, ‘No, this is not my job to fire your Commissioner. He works for you.’" Schnatter: "I had a free shot from two owners to go after Goodell personally. I didn’t go after him in a vicious, venomous way. I just said, ‘Hey, grow up, be a leader, and fix the problem so my small business owners stop taking it on the chin.'” Schnatter "did indeed do that," in November '17. In a conference call regarding the company’s poor earnings for the third quarter of the year, Schnatter said that Goodell should have been more proactive in handling the league's controversies, saying, “Good or bad, leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership. This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago" (, 5/7).

TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS:’s Peter King notes Jones has “had his run-ins with Goodell” and “won’t forgive Goodell" for suspending RB Ezekiel Elliott for six games in '17. King: “Jones also was roaring mad at Goodell five years ago, and I believe he would have supported an effort for remove him. Today? I’m dubious that Jones is on a crusade to get Goodell fired. In fact, I know he’s not” (, 5/9).

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