The Latest NFL Fumble: Using Its Commissioner as the Sole Arbitrator

Theresa Mullineaux

Professional football is the most popular sport within the United States. Dominating television, the last Super Bowl XLVIII, the annual championship game, was the most watched television show in U.S. history. The National Football League (NFL) is the governing body of professional football in America and is led by Commissioner Roger Goodell who acts as the chief executive of the NFL overseeing all 32 NFL teams. Amongst his vast powers includes resolving disputes with “full, complete, and final jurisdiction to arbitrate any dispute between any player, coach, and/or other employee of any member of the League (or any combination thereof) and any member club or clubs.” The Commissioner’s ability to make binding decisions in these disputes is diminished by a clear conflict of interest. This must be changed.

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