NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has had one consistent defender in his corner--at least on Twitter. But now even that has disappeared.
Goodell has come under harsh criticism in recent months over his handling of professional football players kneeling during the national anthem, as well as falling TV ratings and the league’s legal dispute with Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
One Twitter user, under the account name @forargument, often came to Goodell’s defense on the social media site. It turns out the user was actually his wife Jane Skinner Goodell, the Wall Street Journal uncovered and later confirmed.
Since the social media unmasking, however, the account has been taken down.
Jane Skinner Goodell provided a statement to the WSJ on Thursday, explaining her actions were silly, but done out of frustration and love.
“As a former media member, I'm always bothered when the coverage doesn't provide a complete and accurate picture of a story,” Goodell said in a written statement sent to WSJ. “I'm also a wife and a mom. I have always passionately defended the hard-working guy I love--and I always will. I just may not use Twitter to do so in the future!"
Earlier this week, Goodell sent a letter to every NFL team calling for an end to the controversy over football players kneeling during the national anthem. He said the act is threatening to erode the "unifying power" of the game.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last year in an action intended to draw attention to police violence against black Americans. The NFL protest has escalated this season with players across the league choosing to kneel before or during the anthem.