However, the way LA got their team back is not a great story when you look under the surface, according to a report from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The paper, which published public legal records that the association sought to have cleared, paints a picture of what happened to help transport the rams to Los Angeles as at least dishonest.While this was all public knowledge, and while we know the NFL’s hunger for revenue, alleged lengths commissioner Roger Goodell and owner Stan Kroenke going to leave St. Louis is understandably annoying to fans in that city.
From Kroenke to Goodell and with so many people up and down the ladder of both the Rams and the NFL, they all lied from the jump about Kroenke’s intentions to buy Hollywood Park in Inglewood, where SoFi Stadium would eventually be built.
Stan Kroenke lifts the Super Bowl.
Roger Goodell watches Stan Kronk lift the Super Bowl.
Among the allegations: Kroenke wanted to keep his intentions about the SoCal land he purchased a secret, something Goodell and the league were happy to oblige.
“We will try very hard to stay under the radar and no one will know we bought it,” Kroenke is said to have told Goodell after purchasing the land in Englewood. “We’re going to stay hidden, and that’s what we want, for as long as possible.”
It is claimed that Kroenke wasn’t the only person in the Rams organization to wear a disguise about the team’s intent to remain in St. Louis, although Rams COO Kevin Demoff pushed the same narrative within the organization.
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“Our focus will remain 100% on putting the best team on the field for St. Louis in 2014 and beyond,” he wrote in an email to team staff after a story spread that Kroenke was planning to move the Rams to his new property in Los Angeles.
How did the NFL play shy about all this? The league didn’t seem to ask Kroenke about his intentions, so he was able to maintain reasonable denial once news emerged that the team was moving to Los Angeles.
Eric Grobman, the former NFL executive, made the suggestion that if they didn’t ask Kroenke directly, no censure or wrongdoing would be charged as a result.
“If we did, it’s hard to play the fool. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have his side,” Grubman wrote in a January 2014 email.
In the end, the Rams moved to Los Angeles under shady pretexts, burning any bridges they might have left in St. Louis as a result. While they won the Super Bowl, there’s no denying that the move will leave a bad taste in the mouths of NFL fans for years to come.
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