Roger Goodell Causes Widespread Confusion By Showing Up At HBCU National Championship To Support Nephew

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As Jackson State and North Carolina Central took the field for the Celebration Bowl on Saturday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in attendance. It left nearly everybody watching completely baffled.

The Celebration Bowl, played at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, was first played in 2015. It is contested between the champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

Because of its ties to the two prominent conferences of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, it is informally known as the HBCU National Championship. Whichever conference champion comes out victorious is considered the best HBCU football team that season.


This year’s game was electric. The Tigers and Eagles played to the first-ever overtime period in the game’s history and it ended in upset.

Deion Sanders and Jackson State fell to N.C. Central in heart-breaking fashion on 4th-and-goal.

So why was Goodell in attendance? He and Coach Prime are acquaintances— perhaps he was there to support him in his final game before leaving for Colorado? Maybe he was there to support HBCUs?

While each of those reasons may have also been true, Goodell was there to support his nephew.

Charlton Goodell — or Charlie, as uncle Roger calls him — is a sophomore at Jackson State. They shared a hug that looked just like the one Roger gives every first round NFL Draft pick each April before the game.

Admittedly, that explanation might not provide any further clarity.

People were still very surprised by Roger Goodell’s nephew.

As it would turn out, it’s actually a very cool thing. Charlton is one of Roger’s younger brother’s adopted children and has gone on to an impressive college football career.

Back in 2020, in an interview with Emmanuel Acho called ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,’ Goodell spoke about his nephew. He offered a unique perspective.

I don’t look at him as a Black nephew, I look at him as my nephew. He’s named after my father, Charlie Goodell. It’s my youngest brother and he actually has adopted two other kids. I just look at him as my nephew

— Roger Goodell, via Emmanuel Acho

In the end, although Charlton and the Tigers fell one game short of an undefeated season, Roger got to witness one of the best games of the season. It was also cool of him to show up for family like that.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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