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.

Read more

Joint NFL-NFLPA Statement on Wide-Ranging Changes to Drug Programs

The NFL and NFL Players Association have reached agreement on a wide-ranging series of improvements to their programs on substance abuse and performance enhancing substances that include the use of third-party arbitration appeals of positive tests, implementation of testing for human growth hormone within the next few weeks and revised disciplinary standards for DUIs and marijuana.

“With these changes, the NFL and NFLPA once again have the finest and most comprehensive set of drug policies in sports,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

“Our collectively bargained drug policies set the standard for testing protocols and fairness in all of sport,” said NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. “We are proud to continue a legacy of protecting the integrity of our game.”

Key revisions to the program are:

  • HGH testing will be fully implemented this season.  Information on testing procedures will be sent to clubs and players within the week, and testing should begin by the end of this month.
  • Appeals of positive tests in both the substance abuse and performance enhancing drug programs (including HGH) will be heard by third-party arbitrators jointly selected appointed and retained by the NFL and NFLPA.  Appeals will be processed more expeditiously under uniform rules and procedures.
  • Discipline of players for certain violations in the 2014 league year will be adjusted by certain aspects of the new policies. Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos, Orlando Scandrick of the Dallas Cowboys and Stedman Bailey of the St. Louis Rams were eligible to return to their teams this week. Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns and free agent LaVon Brazill will be eligible to return after 10 games.
  • Discipline for violations of the performance enhancing drug policy (including for HGH) will be modified.

Read more

Week 3 Tweets of the Week

The following release includes the “Tweets of the Week” from the @NFLFootballInfo, @NFLHistory and @RLiuNFL Twitter feeds.

For the complete release, click here

CBS & NFL Network’s ‘NFL Thursday Night Kickoff’ Notes & Quotes — Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

NFL Thursday Night Kickoff aired from inside the Georgia Dome tonight at 7:30 PM ET on CBS and NFL Network, with host James Brown and analysts Bill Cowher and Deion Sanders providing pregame analysis leading up to Buccaneers-Falcons on Thursday Night Football.’

Former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez joined the set in Atlanta.

Read more

NFL Network’s ‘NFL Total Access Kickoff’ Notes & Quotes — Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

NFL Total Access Kickoff aired from outside the Georgia Dome tonight at 6:00 PM ET on NFL Network, with host Rich Eisen and analysts Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk and Steve Mariucci providing pregame analysis leading up to Buccaneers-Falcons on Thursday Night Football.

Read more

Saint Thomas Aquinas High School Of Fort Lauderdale Has Most NFL Players; California Leads All States; Miami Tops Hometowns

usa football

Saint Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), with 10 players, tops the list of high schools with the most players on 2014 NFL Kickoff Weekend rosters, USA Football announced today.

“It was an honor to play for a school with such rich history and tradition,” says Jaguars tackle SAM YOUNG, who is among the players on NFL rosters who attended St. Thomas Aquinas. “We had an incredible coaching staff that took a lot of pride in preparing their players for the next level and above, and I think that shows in the program’s longstanding success. It was great to be a part of building the winning culture and I’m sure it will continue on for many years.”

NFL players hail from 1,376 high schools in 48 states and the District of Columbia, six countries and two U.S. territories (American Samoa and U.S. Virgin Islands).

For the complete release, click here

 

What To Look For – Week 3

For the complete release, click here

AFC & NFC Players of the Week — Week 2

For Week 2 AFC Players of the Week, click here

For Week 2 NFC Players of the Week, click here

Joint NFL-NFLPA Statement on Changes to Steroids Policy

The NFL and NFL Players Association have reached agreement on wide-ranging improvements to their policy on performance enhancing substances that include the use of third-party arbitration appeals of positive tests and implementation of testing for human growth hormone within the next few weeks.

The NFL and NFLPA are nearing an agreement on changes to the substance abuse policy that is expected to be announced when it is completed.

Key revisions to the program on performance enhancing substances are:

  • HGH testing will be fully implemented this season. Information on testing procedures will be sent to clubs and players within the week, and testing should begin by the end of this month.
  • Appeals of positive tests in the performance enhancing drug programs (including HGH) will be heard by third-party arbitrators jointly selected and retained by the NFL and NFLPA. Appeals will be processed more expeditiously under improved rules and procedures.
  • Discipline of players for certain violations in the 2014 league year will be adjusted to reflect the new policy. Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos, Orlando Scandrick of the Dallas Cowboys and Stedman Bailey of the St. Louis Rams will be eligible to return to their teams this week.
  • Discipline for violations of the performance enhancing drug policy (including for HGH) will be modified.

Read more

NFL/LISC GRASSROOTS PROGRAM GRANTS $2.5 MILLION FOR NEW AND REFURBISHED COMMUNITY FOOTBALL FIELDS IN 15 CITIES NATIONWIDE

Awards add to $37 million committed since 1998, resulting in 290 neighborhood fields

Community organizations, schools and parks in 15 cities across the country will receive grants totaling $2.5 million to build or refurbish neighborhood fields through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program, it was announced today.

More than $37 million in grants have been awarded to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods since the NFL partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s leading community development organization, in 1998. For the past 15 years, Grassroots grants have supported the construction or renovation of more than 290 fields nationwide.

Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.

The 2013 funding cycle will include new fields, or field enhancements, in Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Covington, KY; Green Bay, WI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; New Haven, CT; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Philadelphia, PA; and Seattle, WA.

“The NFL Foundation is pleased to continue its work with LISC in improving the quality, safety and accessibility of fields in communities nationwide,” said Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON, Chairman of the NFL Foundation. “The revitalization of these fields will provide safe places for communities to come together, “Play 60” and enjoy the many benefits of sports participation.”

Read more