Adam Schefter reports on nfl.com that Roger Goodell will take a pay cut between 20-25 percent and freeze his approximately $11 million salary for the 2009 season. As most people know, the NFL has already had layoffs and there is a plan to freeze the salaries of NFL employees.
I have been critical of Goodell this year, even though I think he is a great commissioner, for being overzealous on fining players for hits and celebrations. I think he has gone just a little too far in trying to police the game and take the fun out of it. But this action speaks volumes about his leadership and willingness to sacrifice with the rest of the employees he leads.
Don’t get me wrong, nobody is going to feel sorry for Goodell. He won’t go hungry on a nearly $11 million dollar salary and whatever bonus he gets. But in a world where CEOs of major corporations layoff employees or impose pay cuts but increase their own gaudy, multi-million dollar salaries, rake in huge bonuses, stock options, and make money on boards of directors, Goodell has provided a breath of fresh air and leadership.
If Goodell wants to make the NFL not just a model organization for professional sports, but in the corporate world in general, he certainly took a big step in the right direction.