SBD/Issue 245/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Roger Goodell Appears On Showtime's Debut Of "Inside The NFL"

Goodell (r) Discusses NFL Issues In
Sit-Down With Brown On "Inside The NFL"
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on the season-debut of Showtime's "Inside the NFL" and participated in a one-on-one interview with Showtime's James Brown, discussing a variety of issues affecting the league. Brown asked, “Commissioner, I guess by design or not, certainly one of the hallmarks of your tenure as commissioner has been your very firm policy against player misconduct. … Does (the Bengals re-signing WR Chris Henry) undermine your stance about player conduct?” Goodell: “I don't believe so, JB. I think all of our personnel, including players, coaches and everyone involved with the NFL understands what is expected with them when they're involved with the NFL. Chris obviously made some mistakes. Young people make mistakes. Our point is, don't make critical mistakes repeatedly, and I think Chris understands this is his last opportunity, and I'm rooting for him. I hope he will succeed. But he also needs to understand he has run out of rope with respect to future mistakes.” Brown noted the NFL recently hired a gang expert and asked, “What was the genesis of that, commissioner?” Goodell: “We’ve long had a policy that when you’re on the field in the NFL you’re there to represent the NFL and you’re not there to send personal messages, and we consider (flashing gang signs) a personal message. ... Since we're not aware of all of the gang signals, we thought we needed to get some expertise in the area.”

CBA NEGOTIATIONS: Goodell touched on the passing of NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw and the impact that will have on future CBA negotiations. Goodell: "We're working with our clubs right now to focus on what are the priorities for the ownership. What’s happened right now is our system is 60% of the gross, but the cost of generating that revenue continues to grow at a rapid rate and there’s no recognition of that. Second, there are a number of system issues that need to be addressed. Of course, into that falls the rookie pool. I think that’s something that we’ve been quite outspoken about. I think the last thing would be our retired players. We do believe that the retired players’ needs (have) to be addressed in a responsible fashion. They're the men that helped build the game and we owe a debt of gratitude and should be responsible to them.”

CUTTING PRESEASON GAMES: Brown noted preseason games are a "pretty profitable center" for team owners and asked if the owners agree on "reducing the number of preseason games." Goodell: “It’s something that we’re evaluating. I think everyone recognizes that the preseason, the quality of the preseason, is not up to NFL standards and that has been the focus that I’ve had with the ownership over the last year. I think there’s a recognition of that within the ownership. On the other hand, it’s something that I think we need to address for our fans. I think it’s not meeting those standards and our fans are asking us to address that, and make sure that it’s higher quality football" ("Inside the NFL," Showtime, 9/10).

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