SBD/Issue 175/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NFL Commissioner Goodell Talks About Personal Conduct Policy

Goodell Says Players Support League’s
New Personal Conduct Policy
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in Charlotte yesterday to introduce Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson as the first recipient of the Charlotte Regional Partnership Private-Sector Economic Development Award. After the presentation, Goodell talked about several key topics facing the league, including the new personal conduct policy and ways to expand the league’s reach.

ONGOING ISSUE: The main news surrounding the NFL this offseason has dealt with the new personal conduct policy Goodell instituted. Already three players – Titans CB Pacman Jones, Bengals WR Chris Henry and Bears DT Tank Johnson – have been suspended for at least eight regular-season games for off-field incidents. Goodell said, “We believe we’re off to setting some standards to making sure our players and coaches and everyone involved with the NFL understand the importance of it. But it’s an ongoing issue.” He added. “We’re dealing with a large number of people – 2,000 young men – and kids are going to make mistakes. ... What we need to do is try to provide as many resources as we possibly can and help them make good decisions. But things are going to happen, and when it happens, they need to understand the consequences."

SUPPORT OF PLAYERS: Goodell said the new policies were put in place with the support of many current NFLers. Over 100 players were consulted about the guidelines in order to understand the issues and what could be done to address them. Goodell said, “We’ve had a few incidents that we’re not happy about – we’ve dealt with them and we’ve had the support of the players in doing it."

NOT SPECULATING ON VICK: Goodell declined to speculate on whether Falcons QB Michael Vick would be suspended if investigations into his alleged involvement in dogfighting showed him to be an active participant. He said, “We don’t deal with hypotheticals. We’re waiting to make sure we gather all the facts, make sure we understand exactly what the circumstances are."

LOOKING TO GROW BRAND: Despite being the premier sports property in the U.S., Goodell is intent on finding new ways to grow the league, with the Dolphins-Giants game in London this October a prime example. Goodell: “We’re focused more on how we can continue to promote the league on a broader basis. ... The media world is changing. We have to be responsive to that and make sure we find ways in which we can continue to deliver NFL football to future generations of NFL fans."

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