The 2020 NFL Draft may be going into unchartered waters with an all-virtual event due to restrictions from the coronavirus, but at least one time-honored tradition will live on — fans booing Roger Goodell.
Football fans loudly voicing their displeasure for the NFL commissioner has become a fixture at the draft, with Goodell walking to the podium to boos every year. As this month’s draft will need to be held virtually as the league is unable to put on the large-scale event with the coronavirus still spreading, some had expressed disappointment that Goodell — reportedly announcing first-round picks from a studio in his own basement — won’t be booed in 2020.
Bud Light is stepping in to fix that. As USA Today reported, the beer maker has offered people the opportunity to boo Goodell via social media during the draft and will be donating money for every fan that jeers him. Those who share a message on Twitter tagging @budlight and using the hashtag #BootheCommish will help donate to a series of organizations providing relief during the pandemic.
“In addition, the company will donate $1 for each lusty boo tweet it receives through April 25, up to $500,000, to the NFL Draftathon,” the USA Today report noted. “The NFL has designated six charitable organizations to receive assistance in this year’s Draftathon campaign, including the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels and the United Way.”
In the days leading up the NFL Draft, Goodell had actually expressed support for fans who wanted to boo him, accepting that the jeers he faces each year have become an integral part of the event. He seemed to support the idea of allowing people to participate remotely, as the draft has always had a high level of fan interaction.
“I personally love the engagement with our fans,” he said, via the New York Post. “That [booing] is included. For us, we had to think through, ‘How are we going to bring the fans into the event? How are we going to allow the boo to be a part of the event as it has been in the past?'”
The draft will look different in many other ways, with teams set to submit their picks virtually and the league announcing it will give leeway to teams that may encounter technical problems in getting them in on time. According to the New York Daily News, the league already put on a dry run of the draft last week to make sure it could run smoothly.