SI's 50 Most Powerful People in Sports

Facebook Share
Photo: David Bergman/SI


Roger Goodell

NFL commissioner

SI ranked (then shuffled, started over and reranked) the 50 most powerful people in sports using criteria explained here. Don't like our list? Try us again in a year when, inevitably, today's leaders will be underperforming or under assault. For now your leader ...

As de facto CEO of the King of All Sports Leagues -- more than $9 billion in annual revenue; furnisher of many (O.K., most) of the highest-rated TV programs -- the NFL commissioner wields considerable influence by dint of job title alone. But Goodell has consistently pushed, and sometimes trespassed, the boundaries of that authority. His overly swift and harsh dispensing of punishment in the Saints' Bountygate scandal represents one example. But here's another: In the same week last month that we learned of Goodell's $29.5 million salary for 2011 (that's $11.5 million more than Tom Brady that year), it was also reported that rookie Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard had been convicted of assaulting a police officer. And though the incident occurred while Dennard was still at Nebraska, many expect that he will be suspended by Goodell.
This 54-year-old commish is akin to the boxer who has more than power -- he has reach too. Either you approve of him or, like 61% of NFL players in a recent USA Today poll, you disapprove of him. But like his league, his supremacy is unmistakable.

More Galleries

Most Recent: Most Popular: Related:
Facebook Twitter Mobile Podcast RSS Tablet Subscribe Get SI to Go using the following services
Hot Topics: NBA Draft Yasiel Puig NHL Playoffs NBA Playoffs Mark Cuban Jabari Parker
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint