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SBD/February 3, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Goodell: NFL Is Increasing Safety, Stressing Fundamentals To Decrease Concussions
Published February 3, 2014
WORKING WITH JUDGE ON SETTLEMENT: Goodell during his State of the League address on Friday talked about the $765M concussion settlement case and said U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody, who is presiding over the case, is “taking her time" before deciding whether the "agreement we reached is going to work the way we intend it to work.” He noted, “The No. 1 thing for us right now is to get the money in place so that we can help the players and their families, if they need it, and that is our priority" (NFL Network, 1/31). Goodell yesterday added of the lawsuit settlement, "We want to obviously have sufficient funds there -- we believe it is, both sub-parties do -- and we have to convince (Brody) of that. We have to make sure that she sees those protections. She’s being cautious, and rightfully so, and we’re going to respect her process and make sure that we answer those questions” (“Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace,” 2/2). But the N.Y. Times' Alan Schwarz said, “You can’t put a hard cap of ($765M), and it’s actually ($712M) when you cut it down. You can’t do that when you don’t know how many players there are going to be” ("Meet The Press," NBC, 2/2).
UNDERSTANDABLE CONCERNS: The AP's John Carucci noted Pro Football HOFer Joe Namath "understands why more parents these days are reluctant to let their children play football." Namath said, "If it was my boy or my daughter, I wouldn't like to see them run into people." He added, "The NFL is doing everything they can to make it a safer game ... however, Americans and people around the world love American football because it is a game of contact" (AP, 2/2). Fox NFL analyst Daryl Johnston said that he and Goodell "will attend a Dallas summit on concussions and head trauma early this year." But Johnston noted that he is "'concerned' that there are youth leagues and schools that will not be able to afford to take similar precautions, such as when he makes sure his son is wearing the proper equipment and is playing with the proper technique" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/2). The N.Y. Times' Schwarz said, “Football is going to be just fine. They will slow down the game, make it a little less reckless, hopefully actually enforce the tackling rules that have been in place since the early ‘70’s. These kinds of things can change the sport into something that is far less dangerous” (“Meet The Press,” NBC, 2/2).