NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell talked with NFL Network reporter Kim Jones about how the league is addressing player safety through the creation of new rules and new equipment. The NFL announced a partnership with General Electric on Monday that will open the door to more research on head injuries. The following is an excerpt from that interview:
Roger Goodell on how GE partnership ultimately enhances player safety:
Well, I hope it’s going to lead to solutions, not just for brain injuries on the football fields, but also in all sports, and beyond sports. We talked about the military and the challenges that they face. But anyone who lives an active lifestyle, whether you’re in the playground or riding a bike, the potential for injury is there. We need to do everything we can to prevent it, to understand it and treat it properly so we can all live healthier lives.
On whether player safety is No. 1 challenge as well as No. 1 priority:
Absolutely. We spend a significant amount of time on it, whether it’s modifying our rules, which we’re doing now with our competition committee, or whether it’s modifying equipment. What can we do to make the game safer for our players playing football, and that goes through all levels of football. When we do it at the NFL level it has a tendency to work its way down all the way, all the way down to youth football.
On whether there are any rules on the board that will continue to enhance player safety that he would like to see adopted:
There are several. I met with the competition committee last week by phone where a report will be coming out early next week. Obviously many of the rules are focused on player safety. They are also to make the game more exciting, but the first priority is to make it safer, and we believe we can do that. We have done that. We have made the game better and safer.
For more Q&A with the commissioner, click on the video above.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor