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Rye's Silver Among Westchester Trio Of Pro Sports Leaders

National Hockey League's Gary Bettman and Major League Baseball's Rob Manfred were introduced to labor negotiations at Cornell's ILR school.
National Hockey League's Gary Bettman and Major League Baseball's Rob Manfred were introduced to labor negotiations at Cornell's ILR school. Video Credit: cornelluniversityilr
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of Bronxville at Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1, 2009. Photo Credit: File photo
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver of Rye on the May 26 cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated
Rob Manfred, left, and Joe Torre of Harrison at an MLB employee Ice Bucket Challenge on Aug. 20. Photo Credit: Major League Baseball
Rob Manfred, center, of Tarrytown, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, left, and Cornell ILR Dean Harry Katz in December 2013. Manfred and Bettman are both graduates of Cornell's ILR school. Photo Credit: Cornell University/Jesse Winter

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchester County garners the fame, and sometimes the disdain, of being home to head honchos.

In the world of athletics, that also means witnessing the storms of professional sports commissioners.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, 55, of Bronxville is expected to be grilled under oath during federal hearings next week (Nov. 5-6) about his indefinite suspension of Baltimore Raven Ray Rice. The New Rochelle High School running back was arrested in February after being captured on security cameras dragging his fiancee, Janay Palmer of Mount Vernon, out of an Atlantic City casino elevator with a videotape later showing that Rice had punched Palmer inside the elevator.

Adam Silver, 52, a native of Rye, also is no stranger to controversy in professional sports. Last April, less than three months after succeeding David Stern of Scarsdale as NBA commissioner, Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from professional basketball for life in response to racist comments made by Sterling.

But it's not all doom or gloom in pro sports circles.

Looking ahead to 2015, Tarrytown's Rob Manfred will take over for Bud Selig as the next commissioner of Major League Baseball. Manfred has something in common with National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, 62, who lives in not-so-faraway Queens. Both credit their interest in contract and labor negotiations to undergraduate studies at Cornell University's ILR school.

Manfred is a native of Rome, N.Y. Goodell was born in Jamestown, N.Y. Goodell was a three-sport star at Bronxville High School.

Silver was class president at Rye High School, a member of its cross country team and editor-in-chief of the Garnet & Black newspaper. He's also run two New York City marathons.

In a profile of Silver in "Sports Illustrated,'' high school friends recalled spending time with Silver at Rye Nature Center and Playland Market, where his mother opened a charge account for him. Silver would watch Muhammad Ali fights at a New Rochelle theater.

Silver's mother, Melba, was a well-liked educator, environmentalist and activist in Rye. She was among the loudest critics of New York City developer Robert Moses’ proposal to build a bridge linking Long Island's Oyster Bay with Rye's waterfront.

Adam, the youngest of four Silver children, helped protest locally by wearing “Ban the Bridge” buttons to elementary school. He saw his mom on television and rejoiced with his family after helping sink plans for the bridge, according to SI.

Earlier Daily Voice coverage of pro sports commissioners can be found here

and here .

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