NFL and Jones at loggerheads over Commish

Roger Goodell is once again a source of controversy for the NFL. This time, though, it’s not fans or players versus the league. The aggravated party is one of the NFL’s most powerful and prominent owners, the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones.

When the news first surfaced that Jones was growing very dissatisfied with many league decisions, including the near-rubber-stamp approval of Goodell’s contract extension, both sides deflected any concern. Jones said he had an opinion on the matter, but voted for the extension anyway. The League said it was operating on the mandate created by the unanimous owner approval of the contract extension.

But all that Kum-Bay-Ya stuff quickly went away after the Associated Press obtained a letter sent to Jones by the NFL, accusing Jones of “conduct detrimental to the league’s best interests.” In the letter, the NFL alleged Jones was actively sabotaging negotiations with Goodell. Jones fired back, threatening to sue the NFL if Goodell’s contract was extended. Even though remember, he voted to approve it earlier this year.

It’s difficult to picture one person facing up to a group as powerful as the NFL, but if it would be anyone, it would be Jones. The Cowboy’s owner has always maintained a larger than life reputation, from the blunt and boisterous statements to the palace of a football stadium that houses America’s Team. Jones is, in many ways, the face of NFL owners, even as he is often cast in the media as the villain, a counterpoint to perceived “good guys” like Robert Kraft (Patriots), Paul Allen (Seahawks) or Arthur Blank (Falcons).

Despite this persistent characterization, Jones remains a hero to many football fans, even those outside the Lone Star State, where football is almost a religion. They see Jones as a maverick fighting the system to make the game better. Jones also has natural allies in the growing number of fans who don’t like what’s happened in the League on Goodell’s watch. There have been several high-profile criminal incidents involving players, what some have called “grossly inconsistent” penalties for different infractions, and the handling – or some would say “mishandling” – of the anthem protests.

At the center of Jones’ beef with Goodell, however, is some very personal business. The League suspended superstar Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliott over alleged domestic violence. Losing Elliott puts the Cowboys in a very tough spot, especially with division rival Philadelphia crushing opponents this year. While Jones adamantly denies any connection between his running back’s suspension and his frustration with Goodell, no one believes there is no connection.

Jones, however, insists his concerns are strictly about Goodell’s compensation, and that these concerns are magnified relative to Goodell’s decisions about the player protests. He also admitted to butting heads with compensation committee chairman, Arthur Blank, over Goodell. This rift is apparently more than just business as usual. Blank and Jones did not speak prior to the Falcons-Cowboys game recently.

So, what happens now? Hard to say where this goes next, but it doesn’t appear to be going in a positive direction for a League that could really use some good news.

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.

NFL and Jones at loggerheads over Commish

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.


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