More than 20,000 people have signed an online petition calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step down.
The petition, which has garnered more than 3,000 signatures, was organized by former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Damon Harrison and signed by former Green Bay Packers linebacker Mike Daniels.
“The NFL has an obligation to the public to have transparency, and to do so now.
The NFL’s current commissioner, Roger Goodell, has shown his utter disdain for transparency and honesty,” Harrison said in a statement.
“He has ignored public calls to resign from his own players and their families, and the public’s voice has been ignored.
His refusal to disclose financial conflicts of interest has led to the widespread perception that the NFL’s CEO and general counsel are being paid off by his own team.”
The petition is part of a broader effort to bring attention to the growing scandal surrounding the league and Goodell’s ties to the owners, who also include the owners of the New York Jets, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders.
The investigation into Goodell’s conduct began in August when it was revealed that a confidential memo from NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith revealed that Goodell “worked for more than two years to secure a contract for a highly paid assistant coach to be a consultant on the New Orleans Saints’ personnel.”
The NFL has denied the allegations and has also denied any wrongdoing on Smith’s part.
Goodell’s position on the matter was made public after Smith, who is also an attorney, wrote a column in The New York Times about Goodell’s involvement in a “bizarre, private, and extremely embarrassing situation” in which he “worked to secure the hiring of a player as an assistant coach on the Saints’ roster, a move that included a meeting with his assistant.”
“I did what I thought was right,” Goodell told The Associated Press.
“I was not involved in anything illegal.”
NFL Commissioner Bill Belichick was also named in the investigation, which revealed that the league was in league office in New York at the time of the alleged scheme.
The two men also discussed the potential for a “secret NFL network” to control the Saints during the 2016 season, according to the investigation.
The Patriots won the Super Bowl, and Goodell is widely considered to be one of the greatest coaches in NFL history.
The league has not yet said whether it will conduct a full-blown investigation into the matter.