Roger Goodell’s Press Conference – Promised “Change” and New “Conduct Policies”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Press ConferencePhoto by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference today to say that he made a mistake in the Ray Rice situation. “I got it wrong” the commissioner said, “and I’s sorry for that.” With that out of the way, Roger Goodell went on to promise that moving forward things in the NFL will be different.

Goodell mentioned that former FBI director Robert Mueller is conducting an independent investigation into the NFL “to address any questions raised” about the process used in handling the Ray Rice situation, and Goodell “pledged” that any information or recommendation Mueller makes, would “lead to swift actions.”

He also stated that the domestic abuse cases in the NFL could help create change, “not only in our league, but in society.” He listed steps that the NFL is taking to improve the ways they deal with domestic abuse and sexual assault.

The commissioner also stated that the NFL has entered into a “long-term” partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Goodell said that these two agencies “need our help and we’re providing it.”

“We strongly, strongly condemn and will punish behavior that is totally unacceptable,” Goodell said. “Domestic violence, including child abuse, sexual assault, irresponsible ownership or handling of firearms, the illegal use of alcoholic or drugs. These activities must be condemned and stopped through education and discipline.”

He also said that he is bringing together the NFL Players, their Union and the owners, along with outside experts to discuss ways to better improve the standards “and identify the right procedures.” And he promised that the NFL “would implement new conduct policies.” These policies Goodell said, will be in effect by the next Superbowl.

During the questions portion of the press conference, the commissioner was asked multiple times if he would step down because of the way he handled the Ray Rice situation. He answered unequivocally, “no,” saying instead that he should not be fired because he admitted his mistake and is “focused” on doing his job and making the NFL a better organization.

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