Roger Goodell named finalist for Time magazine’s Person of the Year

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a lot of headlines in 2014.
(Rick Osentoski / Associated Press)

Roger Goodell could end up being named Person of the Year by prestigious Time magazine.

That’s not necessarily an honor.

It’s not like the NFL commissioner, who was named Monday as one of eight finalists, is being recognized for his swift and appropriate handling of ... ummm, well, there’s got to be something.

Instead, Goodell stood out this year mainly for his mishandling of the Ray Rice controversy. Rice, a star running back formerly with the Baltimore Ravens, was arrested on simple assault charges for an incident involving his then-fiancee, now-wife Janay Rice.


Rice was later indicted on aggravated assault charges, but applied for a pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders that could eventually clear him of the charges.

Even after video emerged of Rice dragging his unconcious fiancee out of a casino elevator surfaced, Goodell gave the player a two-game suspension, which was widely criticized for being too lenient.

It wasn’t until the June release of a second video -- showing Rice punching Janay in the face and knocking her to the floor -- that Goodell made Rice’s suspension indefinite. The commissioner has claimed he never saw the second video until it became public and that he had been misled by Rice about exactly what happened in the elevator.

Rice appealed the indefinite suspension and was reinstated by the NFL late last month after a neutral arbitrator ruled in his favor. The ruling has been viewed by some as a blow to Goodell’s absolute authority over the multi-billion-dollar league.

The Person of the Year recognition seems to go to whomever Time deems as the person who had the biggest impact on the news during a calendar year. Past recipients have run the gamut from Adolf Hitler in 1938 to Pope Francis last year.

The other 2014 finalists are: Taylor Swift; the Ferguson protesters; Vladimir Putin; the Ebola caregivers; Jack Ma; Tim Cook; and Masoud Barzani.