Goodell: 'I Don't Do Things for Public Relations'

Goodell: 'I Don't Do Things for Public Relations'

This week’s TIME cover story, which subscribers can read here, is an in-depth profile of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The Belcher incident is just the latest challenge facing the commissioner. Goodell needs to make football safer. “It doesn’t take a lot to jump to the conclusion that constant banging in the head is not going to be in your best interest,” he says. Just this week, a new study from Boston University detailed 33 cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — 15 of them previously unpublicized–in deceased ex-NFL players. (CTE, a debilitating brain disease associated with head trauma, can be diagnosed only post-mortem). Meanwhile, he’s trying to preserve the core of a game that is our national obsession — and a hugely profitable business. His job is, as he says, a “balancing act.”

 

Fans and players have objected to many of his decisions, like locking out the referees this season, and handing down severe punishment for the New Orleans Saints players and coaches in the bounty scandal. Saints quarterback Drew Brees, for example, says he’s “disappointed” in Goodell. “Really a lack of accountability from the top down,” Brees says. “Also, I feel like, in large part, this bounty scandal, so to speak, is a big facade and a way to cover up the shortcomings of the league with regard to player health and safety over the last three years.”

 

 

 

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