Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira wrote Tuesday that it is his belief that commissioner Roger Goodell “is not fond of officiating,” and provided as evidence an incident from 2001 when Goodell gave him a “hard shove” after he disagreed with how a game in Cleveland was called. (Goodell wouldn’t become commissioner for another five years, but he was entrenched in the league office.)
And even though Pereira recounted this story for Deadspin as part of an excerpt for his upcoming book, the former referee-turned-FOX Sports analyst seemed surprised that this became news.
“It’s the first time I’ve had to address it. I just read it on Pro Football Talk,” Pereira said Thursday on Houston’s Sports Radio 610, via PFT. “It wasn’t that big of a deal to me. Yes he did shove me, he was so frustrated.”
Not only wasn’t it a big deal, as far as Pereira was concerned, he also never had a thought of reporting Goodell for his actions.
“Officiating is a firestorm and we all know Roger,” Pereira said. “He’s not the calmest guy in the world, and he was very upset, and he wasn’t getting what he wanted from me, and so he did shove me, as two people having an argument might. I think it stunned him. He is certainly not a guy that would go around the office constantly bullying people and shoving people, but he was frustrated enough at that point that I think it just got him, and when he did it he just stepped back and I stepped back and that was basically the end of the conversation. It was nothing I would have thought of pursuing.”
Goodell is constantly preaching about protecting the shield, the integrity of the game, and the importance of holding people accountable. Of course, it’s hard to reconcile his words with the actions Pereira describes, even if it was 15 years ago.
Source: CBS Sports / Former NFL ref shoved by Roger Goodell never thought to report him for it