SBD/Issue 202/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Roger Goodell Puts Stamp On NFL With Personal Conduct Policy

Goodell Came To NFL Promising To
Eliminate Any Tolerance Of Bad Boys
ESPN's "Outside The Lines" yesterday examined the impact of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's personal conduct policy, and ESPN's Steve Bunin noted Goodell came into the league "promising to eliminate any tolerance of the NFL's bad boys, putting a personal stamp on the league's personal conduct policy." ESPN's Chris Mortensen: "I know some players who have sat in his office and walked out of there feeling pretty good about their meeting with him and then, all of a sudden, Commissioner Goodell nailed them pretty good. ... Commissioner Goodell is a big believer in protecting the shield. By the way, there were suspensions before he came on-board, but he just ratcheted up the policy. But he did not do so without the consultation of active players, a Player Advisory Committee." Mortensen said Goodell has "definitely defined himself as being a bigger sheriff than any other previous commissioner." ESPN's Marcellus Wiley: "They now know there is a no-nonsense commissioner up in the front office." Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp: "Players feel, because of the financial means that they have to get the best legal representation possible, they can do pretty much whatever they want. ... What Roger Goodell is saying is that he is acting independent of what the legal system is, and I think that's the commissioner's role." Sharp added Goodell's "main responsibility" is "protecting that NFL logo." Wiley said, "The commissioner's role is to actually exercise the voice of all the players and also respect the shield and grow the brand of the NFL as a business" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 7/8).

CONQUERING A NEW MOUNTAIN: In Tacoma, Eric Williams reports Goodell and Seahawks coach Jim Mora Jr. yesterday were part of a group that "successfully reached the summit" of Mt. Rainier. Eight of the nine non-guides in the group "made it to the top of Rainier, with one climber having to turn back because of an elbow injury." The group participated in the event "as part of a fund-raiser for the United Way, with Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke convincing Goodell to accept the challenge." Goodell "appeared to come through the climb reasonably well, saying the climb to the summit was more challenging than he thought it would be." Goodell: "You really have to be prepared for this. And it really tests your will. It tested my will quite a few times." Goodell said that he had "never attempted any type of mountaineering before but now has a newfound respect for the skill after climbing Rainier" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 7/9). Goodell added, "It was amazing. I've never been pushed that hard, both physically and emotionally, and probably mentally. You have to overcome your fear and you have to overcome your doubts of whether you can do it. There were some times on the mountain … that I didn't think I'd be here" (, 7/8). Mora: "I can tell you after three days with him ... and watching what he did and what he overcame and some of the fears he had to overcome, he's a pretty special man" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 7/9).

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