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SBD/March 7, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Roger Goodell Addresses Challenges Facing The NFL, Player Safety, Concussions
Published March 7, 2013
MESSAGE RECEIVED, IF NOT SAID: The NFL also formally came out and claimed that Goodell did not say he is "terrified" of a player dying on the field in Don Van Natta Jr.'s ESPN The Magazine story. However, ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "It does terrify Roger Goodell, whether he’s ever said it or not.” Wilbon: “Goodell has to be afraid of this. It’s one of the reasons why safety has gone up in terms of prioritizing in the NFL.” ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "I understand why you don’t want to admit to the word ‘terrified,’ because that allows for the prospect” ("PTI," ESPN, 3/6). ESPN's Bomani Jones said if Goodell is fearful about an on-field death, NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello “was not going to come out and say, ‘Man, we’re all scared somebody’s going to die out here.’ That is bad for the product and it makes people nervous." Jones: "I can believe Roger Goodell says that when nobody’s around.” L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said, "I’m actually thrilled if Roger Goodell is up nights thinking about this. ... He's showing us that he is scared to death of this, and that’s a good thing. He ought to be scared” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 3/6). CBSSPORTS.com’s Will Brinson wrote whether or not Goodell “actually does sit around and worry about a player dying is irrelevant.” He is “not going to put that quote out there for everyone to take out of context and make the NFL look bad,” and it is “hard to blame him for that” (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/6).