National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell’s wife, Jane Skinner Goodell, covertly defended her husband on Twitter in the midst of various attacks he encountered, including those related to NFL protests during the national anthem.
Jane Goodell established a Twitter account in 2014 under the name “Jones smith” with the Twitter handle @forargument, but had not been active until August when she issued a series of 14 tweets to defend her husband against various media outlets and sports commentators, according to the Wall Street Journal.
For example, Goodell responded to a Sept. 26 tweet from NBC’s Sports blog’s Twitter account, @ProFootballTalk, that stated it was “on the commissioner” to handle how to proceed with the national anthem. Jane Goodell tweeted in response, “Please do better reporting. He is already doing this. You are behind.”
Goodell admitted her covert Twitter account in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
“It was a REALLY silly thing to do and done out of frustration – and love,” she said. “As a former media member, I’m always bothered when the coverage doesn’t provide a complete and accurate picture of a story. 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!”
Many of her tweets, but not all, were in response to how the NFL is scrambling to deal with the reignited kneeling controversy after President Trump said during a rally in October that football players who took a knee during the national anthem should be fired. The controversy surrounding those demonstrations, which began with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s efforts to to draw attention to the treatment of African-Americans and other minorities in the U.S. and police brutality, had somewhat abated before before Trump brought it back into the spotlight.
Goodell’s identity was discovered based on accounts she follows. Two of the accounts were affiliated with the high school her daughters attend.
The account has since been deactivated.