Following yesterday’s League meeting in Atlanta, Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash spoke with the media. Following is a transcript:
NFL League Meeting Transcript
Commissioner Roger Goodell & Executive Vice President Jeff Pash
January 18, 2011 in Atlanta
On optimism there would be a deal done by Super Bowl:
I have never characterized where we are. What I’ve said is with hard work, determination, commitment you can get it done and I think that’s what you just heard from the chief negotiator for the owners [Jeff Pash]: it takes a commitment to get it done. We have to see that. We have to have a disciplined process where we’re meeting on a regular basis committed to getting an agreement that works for everybody.
Why hasn’t it happened yet?
I wish I could tell you. There’s a lot of frustration on that point.
On pressure on owners knowing they will lose enthusiasm, support, fan base:
There’s a very clear understanding if there is a work stoppage of any kind it hurts everybody. It hurts the clubs. It hurts the players and it will hurt the game. Most importantly it will hurt our fans. So that’s why you want to work to avoid that. We recognize how important the game is to people. But you have to have the right Collective Bargaining Agreement. And this is about the future of our game. There are things that need to be addressed and we need to address those responsibly so that everybody can win.
Why do you think football became so popular this year?
I don’t think it became popular just this year. I think there are a number of contributing factors to that. Obviously it starts with the quality of the game. I think the quality of the game is outstanding. Second, it’s all the effort to promote the game. We have NFL Network promoting our game 24 hours. We have four other broadcast networks promoting our game. We have NFL.com. This is a great time to be a fan because there’s so much information and so many ways for you to engage with the game. That’s a great thing for our fans.
On football becoming a religion in America:
No it’s a sport. It’s a game. It’s a great game. We recognize how much people care about that game. That’s why we want to make sure we make the right decisions to continue the success of the league.
On collusion claim filed and affect it has on negotiations:
It’s more litigation. I’ve said before, this is not going to get resolved through litigation. It will get resolved through negotiation. It’s time to get to the table and negotiate.