Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) During a congressional hearing on allegations of workplace misconduct by the Washington Commanders, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and Commanders coach , Jack Del Rio.
During the questioning portion of Wednesday’s hearing, Jordan asked Goodell why he banned Portnoy from attending NFL games, noting that the CEO and founder of Barstool Sports is a sportswriter.
The BigLead.com reported that Portnoy and company were banned from attending NFL games in 2015 after Barstool publicly called out Goodell for his response to the “Deflategate” controversy surrounding the then-Los Angeles quarterback. New England Patriots, Tom Brady.
“You believe in the First Amendment, don’t you?” Jordan asked Goodell.
“Yes, congressman,” Goodell replied.
“Why did you ban Dave Portnoy from NFL games? He is a journalist. In fact, he is a sportswriter,” Jordan asked. “Why is he banned?”
“Congressman, I’m not familiar with that subject,” Goodell replied to Jordan. “I’m happy to check with my staff, but I’m not aware of that.”
Jordan then mentioned that Portnoy, who has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, is an established journalist who interviewed former President Trump and said, “I think, [if you] you can get into the White House, you should be able to get into a football game.”
The lawmaker also asked Goodell if the Commanders were right to fine Del Rio $100,000 for his comments about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Capitol Hill, in which he referred to the deadly insurrection as a “controversy” and he compared the riot to the nationwide protests against police brutality that took place in 2020 following the death of George Floyd.
“Do you agree with the Washington Redskins’ decision to find Jack Del Rio $100,000?” Jordan asked Goodell, referring to the Commanders’ previous nickname.
“That was a decision Coach Rivera made,” Goodell replied, referring to Commanders head coach Ron Rivera. “Again, as I said earlier, they are responsible for monitoring and managing their own workplace. He made that decision on his own.”
Goodell and Jordan continued to go back and forth on the matter, with Goodell mentioning that Rivera “took many factors into consideration” in taking disciplinary action over Del Rio’s comments.
Jordan’s questions came as Goodell testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee about allegations of workplace misconduct by commanders, telling the panel in his opening statement that the team and owner Dan Snyder had an “unacceptable” work culture, but that has since been addressed. .
“It is clear to me that the workplace in Washington was unprofessional and unacceptable in a number of ways: bullying, pervasive disrespect for colleagues, use of demeaning language, public shaming and harassment,” Goodell told the committee, adding that the team has made changes. in years past and the league also took disciplinary action against Snyder.
Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.) also announced her intention to issue a subpoena against Snyder, who last week declined the panel’s invitation to testify on the matter.
The committee launched its investigation into the Washington, DC-based NFL franchise last year. The NFL launched a second investigation into the team earlier this year after a former cheerleader and team employee, Tiffani Johnston, testified at the roundtable hearing that Snyder sexually harassed her during her work-related dinner. .
The Hill has reached out to Jordan’s office for comment.