Archive for 'From the Commissioner'

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Press Conference At League Meeting In San Francisco

5-20-15

We had a terrific couple days of meetings here. We advanced a lot of issues, some of which I think you’ve heard about. I’ll highlight a couple of them that I think were the most significant for us.

One was the PAT rule. This is a rule that we have been focused on for quite some time. It’s a play that we think is not exciting. It’s a play that we think could be improved and we have. The Competition Committee made a recommendation on that to move it back to the 15 to kick the extra point and also to allow the defense to score. We think those changes are terrific. We thought of some other ideas in the context of that, but I think the bottom line is the ownership would like to see us do this in stages so we can see the impact of the changes and evaluate that as we go through the season.

We had an update on the Super Bowl LIII and LIV process. I’m sure you’re aware of where we are on that, but we have Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami and Tampa Bay who are our four finalist cities. There is a provision for Super Bowl LIV: if there is a team in Los Angeles, they can be included in the process. That is again a positive update.

We talked about Los Angeles for an extensive time this morning with our membership and had a report from the committee. We had an international update on the tremendous growth we are seeing in our game on a global basis, not just the United Kingdom. It was a great discussion on Mexico, Germany and also into South America so we’re very positive about that.

We had a lot of updates on health and safety. As you all know, we made some significant changes in March with the medical timeout. We went through that in great detail to make sure that the clubs understood how we are approaching that; how we were using the ATC spotter; as well as the visiting team physician, who is another resource for us to provide better care for our players and staff when they come in from a visiting city. So if players need additional care – whether it is hospitalization, prescription drugs, anything along those lines – we will have a local physician that will expedite that and try to assist us on that basis.

For the complete transcript, click here

 

NFL STATEMENT ON ADRIAN PETERSON

Judge Doty’s order did not contain any determinations concerning the fairness of the appeals process under the CBA, including the commissioner’s longstanding authority to appoint a designee to act as hearing officer. Even so, we believe strongly that Judge Doty’s order is incorrect and fundamentally at odds with well-established legal precedent governing the district court’s role in reviewing arbitration decisions. As a result, we have filed a notice of appeal to have the ruling reviewed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the interim, Adrian Peterson will be returned to the Commissioner Exempt List pending further proceedings by appeals officer Harold Henderson or a determination by the Eighth Circuit Court.

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Statement By Commissioner Roger Goodell On The Mueller Report

We are grateful to Director Mueller for conducting an extremely thorough and detailed investigation, and we accept his findings and recommendations. I want to express my appreciation to John Mara and Art Rooney for their leadership. Director Mueller made a series of very constructive observations and recommendations regarding our prior investigatory procedures. We have already addressed many of these points in the revisions to the Personal Conduct Policy that were announced last month. I look forward to reviewing these recommendations with the league’s new Conduct Committee chaired by Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill.

While this investigation has now concluded, our focus on the underlying issues and our commitment to positive change remain as strong as ever. We have all learned a great deal in the past months and expect to be judged by how we lead going forward on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Information on the New Personal Conduct Policy

Below is additional information on the new Personal Conduct Policy:

– Click here for the new Personal Conduct Policy

– Click here for key elements to the new Personal Conduct Policy

– Click here for the Conduct Committee

– Click here for list of organizations and experts the NFL consulted

– Click here for a fact sheet on what the NFL is doing

– Click here for information on the new Personal Conduct Policy

– Click here for Mission and Values

 

NFL Teams Unanimously Endorse Comprehensive New Conduct Policy; Ownership Committee Named, New Disciplinary Officer To Be Hired

NFL teams unanimously endorsed a revised and strengthened Personal Conduct Policy for all NFL employees that was presented today at a league meeting in Dallas.

The policy was developed after an extensive series of meetings and discussions over the past four months with a wide range of experts and others inside and outside of the NFL, including current and former players, the NFL Players Association, domestic violence/sexual assault experts and advocates, law enforcement officials, academic experts, and business leaders (see attached list).

The NFL has had a formal policy and program addressing off-field conduct since 1997 that was enhanced in 2007. The new policy significantly builds on the foundation of the previous programs.

“With considerable assistance from the many people and organizations we consulted, NFL ownership has endorsed an enhanced policy that is significantly more robust, thorough, and formal,” Commissioner ROGER GOODELL said. “We now have a layered evaluation process to take into account a diversity of expert views. This will better enable us to make appropriate decisions and ensure accountability for everyone involved in the process.”

For the complete release, click here

Click here for information on the New Personal Conduct Policy.

Adrian Peterson Suspended Without Pay For At Least the Remainder of 2014 Season

Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings was notified today that he has been suspended without pay for at least the remainder of the 2014 NFL season, and will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15, for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy in an incident of abusive discipline that he inflicted on his four-year-old son last May. Peterson pled no contest on November 4 in state court in Montgomery County, Texas to reckless assault of the child.

In a letter to Peterson, Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “The timing of your potential reinstatement will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision. Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement.  You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.”

Under Article 46 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Peterson may appeal the decision by giving written notice to the commissioner within three business days. If he appeals, a hearing will be scheduled promptly, at which he may be represented by counsel of his choice and by the NFLPA and at which he will have the opportunity to present evidence in support of his appeal. If he appeals, Peterson will remain on the Exempt List and continue to be paid pending a decision.

In modifying the NFL Personal Conduct Policy August 28, Commissioner Goodell established a baseline discipline of a suspension without pay for six games for certain offenses, including a first offense of assault, battery, or domestic violence.  He also identified aggravating circumstances that would warrant higher levels of discipline. In his letter, Commissioner Goodell identified several aggravating circumstances present in this case:

“First, the injury was inflicted on a child who was only four years old.  The difference in size and strength between you and the child is significant, and your actions clearly caused physical injury to the child.  While an adult may have a number of options when confronted with abuse – to flee, to fight back, or to seek help from law enforcement – none of those options is realistically available to a four-year old child.  Further, the injury inflicted on your son includes the emotional and psychological trauma to a young child who suffers criminal physical abuse at the hands of his father.

“Second, the repetitive use of a switch in this instance is the functional equivalent of a weapon, particularly in the hands of someone with the strength of an accomplished professional athlete.


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Officiating Video – Week 2

The following is an officiating video to assist in your coverage of the NFL.

It can be accessed by clicking on the links below or visiting www.nflmedia.com.

Windows

http://media02.nfl.info/NFL/Media/2014/Video4/Officiating_Media_Video_09-19-14.wmv

Mac/Mobile

http://media02.nfl.info/NFL/Media/2014/Video4/Officiating_Media_Video_09-19-14.mp4

The video reviews plays from Week 2.  It may not be posted on your website, but if you are interested in tweeting the link to the video from www.nflcommunications.com, feel free to do so.

We hope you find this information helpful.  Please contact us with any questions.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Press Conference Opening Statement

SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

3:00 PM ET

Commissioner Roger Goodell: Good afternoon. Thank you for coming today. I’d like to make a few points and then I’ll be happy to take your questions.

At our best, the NFL sets an example that makes a positive difference.

Unfortunately over the past several weeks, we have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong.

That starts with me.

I said this before, back on August 28th, and I say it again now – I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter. I am sorry for that.

I got it wrong on a number of levels – from the process that I led to the decision that I reached.

But now I will get it right and do whatever is necessary to accomplish that. First, I don’t expect anyone just to take my word. Last week, I asked former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct an independent investigation to answer the questions raised about our process in reviewing Ray Rice’s conduct.

I pledged that Director Mueller will have full cooperation and access. We all look forward to his report and findings. I promise you that any shortcomings he finds in how we dealt with the situation will lead to swift action. The same mistakes can never be repeated. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that we are thorough in our review process and that our conclusions are reliable. We will get our house in order first.

Second, and most importantly, these incidents demonstrate that we can use the NFL to help create change not only in our league but in society with respect to domestic violence and sexual assault.

We are taking a number of steps. I said on August 28th that the entire NFL would receive comprehensive information on resources and support systems for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We will reexamine, enhance and improve all of our current programs – and then we’ll do more.

Earlier today, each NFL club and all of our league office locations received information about advocacy and support organizations in their communities.

In addition, our teams and league staff – everyone – will participate in education sessions starting in the next month — followed by training programs.


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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell – Media Availability at Hall of Fame

NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL
2014 HALL OF FAME FESTIVITIES – CANTON, OHIO
AUGUST 1, 2014

On how excited are you for the Hall of Fame weekend:

This is a great weekend, which I told the Hall of Famers this morning. Not just because you get to spend time with the Hall of Famers, and we celebrate their great contribution to the game, but also inducting a new class, and we have a great new class. But it’s also a sign the NFL season is starting soon and that’s exciting for all of us.

On the details regarding the Ray Rice situation that ultimately decided the two-game suspension:

Our policy is clear on this. We have a very firm policy that domestic violence is not acceptable in the NFL and that there will be consequences for that.  When we’re going through the process of evaluating the issue and whether there will be discipline, you look at all of the facts that you have available to us. Law enforcement normally has more – on a normal basis – has more information, facts, than we have. We’ll get as much as we possibly can. And then you also have the opportunity to sit down with the individual, and maybe others, to determine how that individual is reacting to it. I think what’s important here is that Ray has taken responsibility for this. He’s been accountable for his actions. He recognizes he made a horrible mistake, that it is unacceptable, by his standards and by our standards. And he’s got to work to re-establish himself. The criminal justice system, as you know, put him in a diversionary program with no discipline, and we felt it was appropriate to have discipline, and to continue counseling programs and to continue our education work. And I was also very impressed with Ray in the sense that Ray not only is accepting this issue, and saying how it was wrong, but he’s saying “I want to make a powerful difference in this area.” I think you heard from him yesterday. He is a young man that really understands the mistake he made and he is out and about and determined to make a positive difference.

On reactions to the Rice suspension from the public:

When we make decisions we always get reactions. We understand that, we listen to it, and we use it to make ourselves better. We’re comfortable with that and we understand that.

On the precedent that prior suspensions set in making decisions:

We have to remain consistent. We can’t just make up the discipline, it has to be consistent with other cases, and it was in this manner.

On criticism of the suspension based on the NFL’s drug-related suspensions:

You have to deal with the facts. We have a drug program that is collectively bargained and it has a step process. It takes four incidents before you actually reach a suspension in a drug-related case. You have to respond to facts here. You have a lot of people voicing their opinions, but what you have to understand is that this is a young man who made a terrible mistake – it’s inconsistent with what we’re all about. We have dealt with it in a serious manner, and we’re very confident that this young man understands where he is and what he needs to do going forward.

On the Josh Gordon case and any extenuating circumstances surrounding it:

Well there’s a process that he’s going through right now. An appeal is actually being heard today. They’ll make a decision based on the information that is exchanged today.

On consistency in punishment:

Ray Rice did not have another incident. There were several cases, as you know, and a series of incidents in other cases and we take that into account. If it is a first offense and someone has had a strong background of being responsible in the community, doing the right things, not violating either policies or anything else that would reflect poorly on the NFL, then we take that into account. When there is a pattern, we also take that into account on the other side.

On Buffalo Bills sale process:

I’ll be getting an update next week. But we’ve obviously had first bids that were submitted this week. They are moving into the second phase, exchanging more information with all of the candidates. I do not know how many people remain in that process. That’s not something I may ever know. It seems like it’s proceeding on a normal basis.

On his thoughts regarding only three bidders:

I don’t know if there are only three bidders. Do you know that?

On if talking to Ray Rice’s wife reduced the suspension:

No. I take into account all the information before I make a decision on what the discipline will be. In this case there was no discipline taken by the criminal justice system – they placed him in a diversionary program. I had seen Ray after that and I had the opportunity to hear from him, hear from his wife and hear from other people he had brought into the hearing process and I put all that together to make the decision.

On whether there are facts the media does not know about that led to a two-game suspension for Rice:

I had the opportunity as the commissioner to hear directly from him. That is helpful and it is important for me to be able to do that. What I want to see are success stories. I want to see people when they make mistakes, see them take responsibility, be accountable and make a difference going forward. I hope that is what Ray Rice is going to do.

On the future direction of the Hall of Fame and David Baker’s leadership:

I am excited. I have known David [Baker] for 15 years. I have had the opportunity to work with him with the Arena Football League. When this position became available, he was an outstanding candidate. He has a great vision but he also knows how to make it happen. We are excited about that.

On whether the league will do more to bring awareness to and support domestic violence victims:

Yes, but not only in domestic violence issues but other issues that we think are important for the league to support.

On what he knows about the Josh Gordon situation:

Josh is going through the process right now. I am not a part of that process. At some point in time, I may have an opportunity to be involved. When I am, I look forward to meeting with him.

On the FCC and blackouts:

The FCC has said that they are considering views on this issue. They have it on the table and they are discussing whether they will make a decision sometime possibly this fall. What we are trying to do is keep the program in place because it has worked for several decades. We are the only sport on free television and we believe that staying on free television is good for consumers. There are 60 million people and growing, including a lot of minorities, that are watching NFL football on free television and we want to keep it that way. We are concerned that a change in this area, we are 99 percent sold out, so it has very little impact on our business, but it could have an impact on the overall business model for free television. We think that’s devastating to our consumers and consumers in general.

On disciplining players mentioned in the Ted Wells Report:

There are different issues with different individuals. The bottom line is everything is proceeding and they are doing everything they have been asked to do. We will make individual decisions, if necessary, with any one of those individuals.

On the chances discipline could occur before the start of the season:

It’s a broad issue. I would say the one person that has been very responsive and gone through the program is Richie Incognito. We are working with his people and monitoring his progress and it’s gone well.

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Statement by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Chuck Noll

What set Chuck Noll apart was his remarkable ability as a teacher. His subject was football and his students became four-time Super Bowl champions. Coach Noll’s quiet leadership produced extraordinary results that deeply inspired players, coaches and fans. He always put the team, his players, and the game first. His legacy of excellence will forever be an important part of the history of the Steelers and the NFL. We extend our condolences to Chuck’s wife Marianne, his son Chris, the Noll family, and the Steelers organization.