Here's another reason why this is not really true free-market:
The NFL is all about corporate welfare because it fleeces taxpayers routinely by receiving massive public giveaways to build new stadiums, workout facilities etc. etc. Even from so-called budget slashing conservative governors. Meanwhile, Goodell makes $30 million a year.
Free market my ass. They have to play the political correctness game or they risk losing their govt perks. This is just another indirect form of govt coercion on another state using a proxy.