The wife of National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell has admitted running a secret Twitter account to clap back at his critics during the anthem kneeling controversy.
Jane Skinner Goodell on Thursday admitted to running the now-deleted Twitter account @forargument under the name 'Jones smith', using it to clap back at unflattering NFL coverage.
'It was a REALLY silly thing to do and done out of frustration—and love,' Mrs Goodell said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the fake account.
Screenshots and conversation threads from the deleted account show that Mrs Goodell was primarily interested in nitpicking press coverage of her husband, including the controversy over players kneeling during the national anthem.
Jane Skinner Goodell on Thursday admitted to running the now-deleted Twitter account under the name 'Jones smith', using it to blast unflattering coverage of husband Roger Goodell
The fake account tweeted to ESPN writer Seth Wickersham with this response to a story chronicling the fallout after President Donald Trump went to war with NFL anthem protesters
Goodell has been at the center of the kneeling controversy, initially supporting the NFL players in their protest after President Trump blasted them in a Twitter tirade. Pictured: New Orleans Saints players kneel during the US national anthem in London earlier this month
'Reads like a press release from players' union,' the account tweeted to ESPN writer Seth Wickersham in response to a story chronicling the fallout after President Donald Trump went to war with the anthem protesters.
'You can do better reporting. (D Smith sounds like D Trump with the inaccurate firebombs),' the account said, in an apparent reference to reference to the NFL players' union head DeMaurice Smith.
Remnants of Twitter conversations show exasperated journalists engaging with the anonymous account.
'It's been corrected. Thanks for looking out,' wrote journalist Jared Dubin in January 2015, adding minutes later: 'It's a fairly small piece of info that doesn't have much -- if any -- effect on the crux of the story and has been corrected.'
Earlier this month, Mrs Goodell turned snippy over this historical newspaper clip, about her husband's late father, Charles Goodell, who opposed the Vietnam War as a US senator
In August, the pseudonymous account took umbrage at WSJ reporter Jason Gay for pointing out Patriots fans' well-known dislike for Roger Goodell over his handling of Deflategate
The same month, reporter Gabriel Sherman responded to an apparent complaint about his sourcing from the fake account, writing: 'I always strive for on the record sources but reporting on a powerful institution like NFL means only some speak anonymously.'
Mrs Skinner, a former on-air reporter for several Fox affiliates, said her background in journalism drove her zeal for critiquing coverage of her husband.
'As a former media member, I’m always bothered when the coverage doesn’t provide a complete and accurate picture of a story,' she said in her statement to the Journal.
'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!'