An Open Letter to Roger Goodell

Auburn tackle Greg Robinson, right, poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the St. Louis Rams as the second pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

CC: Sen. Claire McCaskill, D, Missouri

June 2, 2014

Dear Mr. Goodell:

I understand that you’re quite busy these days, what with trying to reduce the number of concussions in the NFL, dealing with the new prescription drug lawsuit filed by former players and having to deflect all of the inflammatory comments made by DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA. I also understand your need to deal in a reasonable and fair manner with Congress (I’ve cc’d Missouri Democratic senator Claire McCaskill on this letter, too) to preserve the NFL’s protections afforded by that fine institution.

But I have a problem that I feel must be addressed. On a daily basis, in watching your own NFL Network and ESPN, in reading USA Today and various internet sites, in listening to sports radio, I am barraged with insults. You see, Mr. Goodell, I’m a rather large man. When I was a kid, my mom called me “big-boned,” and throughout my life I’ve been bigger than most men my age.

Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

So when I hear the term New York “Giants,” I cringe. Why must the NFL, and society in general, use this slur against me and other large people? How can you, as commissioner of the league, allow the use of a name that is an affront to all people like me? Oh, sure, the Mara and Tisch families can claim that the name came from the New York baseball Giants, who named their team because of all the giant buildings in the city. But times have changed. We are a politically correct culture. The point is, in our society we must protect the feelings of all peoples, regardless of race, creed, religion and size. I am appalled that in 2014, you would allow such an obvious slur to be propagated by your league so that you can sell more merchandise and maintain a brand.

What would happen if the team were called the New York Midgets? Think you could get away with that? New York Fatties? New York Anorexics? Oh, sure, but New York Giants is OK. Right.

While we’re at it, we’re thrilled that our local team has a new defensive coordinator in Gregg Williams, the former DC for the New Orleans Saints. But in my dictionary, a Saint is defined as someone who displays a “certain, exceptional holiness of life.” Are you telling me that a guy who allegedly pays someone to hurt someone else can be called a Saint? What kind of holiness of life is that? Are you working from the Mafia handbook? You’re a fan. You know that Ken Stabler spent his last three years in pro football with the Saints. I can tell you, the Snake was not that pure.

All real Saints are dismayed to have that nickname applied to them. Heck, we had Kyle Turley here when he played. He was a Saint? No, Mr. Goodell, we’ve found another nickname with which you’re going to have problems.

Perhaps the greatest travesty is the one in New England. You are aware that George Washington, our first President, was, like you, one of the great leaders ever. Yes, George Washington, who led Patriot troops into battle to fight for our initial freedom, our independence as Americans. As you may have heard in grade school, when George was six years old, his father gave him a small hatchet. While wandering the family garden swinging the hatchet, little George cut into the bark of his father’s cherry tree, and the tree eventually died.

His father asked everyone in the house what happened to the tree and, when little George entered the kitchen, his father asked, “Do you know who killed my little cherry tree in the garden?” A stunned George Washington paused and replied, “I cannot tell a lie, father, you know I cannot tell a lie! I did cut it with my little hatchet.”

So our greatest American patriot can’t tell a lie, but your team named the Patriots has a verified cheater and liar named Bill Belichick at the helm, and you allow the franchise to maintain that nickname? Have you thought about this one, Mr. Goodell? Every patriot – Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams – would be outraged that a team so bereft of honesty would have the honor of carrying that nickname.

As an aside, the St. Louis Rams went about five years and rarely collided with anything. Evidently, all real Rams were incensed to learn that a team was named after them.

I appreciate you taking the time to hear my complaints. I haven’t heard any other real, valid complaints about team nicknames, but I thought the indignity was egregious enough that you should know how me and people like me feel.

I’ll save my complaints about you legislating the violence I loved in the game out of the NFL. As I mentioned, I realize there are more pressing issues for you than the violence, like the insulting nicknames I mentioned.

Have a great day, and we hope to see you here in St. Louis in 2014. Don’t hesitate to email me at if you have any questions about this note.

Best regards,

Randy Karraker

Read More: Putting Goodell on Blast for Irsay Situation

  • stevenaquinn

    Quite an amusing blog Karraker but your “hate” on the Patriots is getting old. I’ve listened to you b-tch, moan, and complain about New England for the better part of 3 years and I sure wish you would find something more constructive to do with your time.

  • Colin

    I realize you like the ‘Skins. Just because you aren’t offended by the name doesn’t mean others aren’t. You article was a reach at best. Keep the color scheme, change the name to Warriors and be done with it.

    I’m a Cowboys fan, I enjoy my classic rivalries with the NFC East. But that name is about the most insensitive thing in sports today. It doesn’t have the backing of any specific tribe like Seminoles or Illini. My gauge is can I walk up to someone who my mascot is supposed to represent and call them by that name. Please walk up to a Native American and call them by the Redskin term. I’m certain that will end well.

    • Tim Reeder

      Love that gauge.

  • Randy Karraker

    Colin-we actually had an authentic, card carrying (they have cards for benefits) Native American come to a remote and side with me on this. He’s a business owner in town, and said he and his friends have no problem whatsoever with the Redskin nickname. He said it’s a vocal minority that “always has to B%*#@ about something.
    Steven-I was just pointing out a fact. For those that care about politics, they shouldn’t forget Watergate. For those that care about the NFL, they should never forget about spygate.
    Thanks for reading and listening, and have a great day!

    • Justin P.H. Dixon

      This post is equivalent of saying “I have a black friend, so I can’t be racist.” I listen to you every day Randy, but it’s time to evolve on this issue. Racism has no place in sports, or at least it shouldn’t.

    • Tim Reeder

      Would it be ok to have a team called the Washington “n-words”? Even if some black people were ok with it does that make it ok to be racist and offensive to so many others?

  • Matt Walker

    It’s really surprising how wrong Karraker is on this issue. I don’t think Karraker is racist but he’s very confused.
    And the arrogance to think that Goodell will even read the column says a lot about who Karraker is as a human being.

    • Randy Karraker

      I am outraged.

  • Adam Brewer

    This is probably the worst piece of ‘journalism’ that I’ve ever seen.

    Totally inappropriate and nonsensical.

    • Roy Dodson

      Get a clue, it’s written tongue in cheek.

  • Randy Karraker

    Glad you put “journalism” in quotes there. Glad you saw it as inappropriate and nonsensical. Somebody gets it.

  • Jim Barron

    Mr. Karraker,
    I hate the NE Patriots and love that you continue to “hate” on them too. You are a true American!

  • Lance Dascotte

    Keep on hating those patriots. It never gets old!!! This country is going mad. Do people really know anymore what racism is? It is getting to where pretty soon I won’t be able to say I love Hardee’s without offending a McDonald’s patron. When does it end? I am shocked at how many people are hating on you for your open letter to Goddell. I am 1/8th Indian and could care less. The name Redskin when originally used was not used for all Indians. It was used for those that were warriors who were vicious in battle. When I see the name Washington Redskins I do not think of a beaten down people.

  • jnewingham

    Should have just left it with the Giants piece. That would have been fantastic. Although, even more people wouldn’t have understood the article then. Personally, I think Washington just needs to change their mascot to a potato. Problem solved.