NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia.
Rich Graessle—Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
By Abigail Abrams
October 12, 2017

It might seem natural that any spouse would come to the defense of their significant other if that person were constantly being criticized. But not everyone’s spouse is also the commissioner of the National Football League.

It turns out that Jane Skinner Goodell, the wife of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, has been fighting back against her husband’s critics in recent months under the guise of a secret Twitter account, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The account, @forargument, has now been deleted, but it was originally created in 2014 and had not tweeted much until this year. As the NFL became embroiled in controversy over national anthem protests and some people criticized the commissioner’s handling of the situation, his wife rose up to say they were wrong.

The account often responded to sports news organizations or journalists tweeting about the NFL, according to screenshots captured by the Journal. For example, when @ProFootballTalk, the Twitter handle of the NBC Sports blog, tweeted Sept. 26 that it was “on the commissioner” to solve the anthem controversy, @forargument responded “Please do better reporting. He is already doing this. You are behind.”

While the @foragrument account had no photo or followers, the Journal discovered it belonged to Goodell’s wife by looking at the accounts it followed. Four were connected to the Goodells’ daughters’ school, and several other indications led reporters to Goodell family members. Jane Skinner Goodell admitted the account belonged to her on Thursday and told the Journal she had created it out of love.

“It was a REALLY silly thing to do and done out of frustration — and love,” she said in a statement to the paper. “As a former media member, I’m always bothered when the coverage doesn’t provide a complete and accurate picture of a story. 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!”

The NFL offered a similar response on Thursday and said the commissioner did not know about his wife’s account.

“Sounds like what she did is what every spouse in America would want to do,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Journal.

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