Roger Goodell
Deborah Pugliese
United States




After being dogged by criticism of his response to kneeling demonstrations led by Colin Kaepernick, Goodell changed course in June 2020 during nationwide demonstrations against racial inequity and police brutality, acknowledging the NFL should have heard its players and supported their right to peacefully protest. Subsequently, he announced the league’s 10-year, $250 million commitment to fighting systemic racism and tackled the thorny issue of why, when and how to bring back the country’s beloved football during a pandemic. A virtual draft was held in April, also serving as a fundraiser for coronavirus relief, reeling in $100 million. And then it was on, with Goodell committing to a full schedule of regular-­season games to be played in fanless stadiums, including new state-of-the-art facilities in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.


  • NFL
  • New York Jets
  • American Football Conference


  • Washington & Jefferson College (PA, USA)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2019 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Admits League Incorrectly Handled Kneeling Protests

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Admits League Incorrectly Handled Kneeling Protests

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted in video posted to Twitter on Friday that the league should've listened to players' protests against racism and police brutality earlier, and expressed support on behalf of the NFL for the Black Lives Matter movement."It has been a difficult time for our country, in particular, Black people in our country," he said in a video posted to the NFL's Twitter account. "First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and...


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