Commissioner Goodell – On ESPN Radio

video inside post 10/10/2008 NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell With Mike Tirico & Scott Van Pelt – ESPN Radio

On the latest with Adam Jones and if the league has started an investigation:

The answer is yes. We’re trying to determine all the facts. It’s clear there was some type of incident. We want to understand all the facts. At this point right now, it’s about making sure we understand exactly what did happen.

On being in Dallas yesterday and if there was a meeting with Adam:

Actually, I was in San Antonio in the morning. I then flew up to Dallas and met with the full team, not Adam individually, and then Jerry Jones, and then a group of retired players last night before flying home.

On when you met with Adam during the reinstatement process were there parameters set in terms of behavior moving forward:

I don’t think there’s any misunderstanding about the position that Adam has put himself in with respect to all of his behavior. I have been very clear with him on how his behavior cannot reflect poorly on himself, the team, or the NFL. There were certain things that I expected of him. I think he clearly understands that. I’m disappointed that we’re even discussing this at this point in time. We will have to wait for the facts, and understand exactly what happened before making any determinations.

On the impact of the conduct policy:

The big thing to remember here was the whole policy was created with the support of the players. I worked very hard with Gene Upshaw to reach out to players to understand what was happening and what resources we could provide to help them make better decisions. If it came to a point where we had repeat offenders, then we would take disciplinary action, because it’s reflecting poorly on all the players and the NFL. Our players do so many great things in their communities. Poor conduct takes away from the great things our players do, and unfortunately a few negative incidents reflect very poorly on the whole group.

On the Raiders’ press conference last week:

I watched the press conference like everyone else. It was unfortunate that the circumstances had gotten to that point. Both parties have moved on. Hopefully, the Raiders can focus on winning football games going forward, and coach Kiffin can pursue whatever he decides to do.

I have not interjected myself. There has been a lot of misinformation about a letter that I supposedly sent to the Raiders threatening them. That is not the case. During the press conference, Mr. Davis had made a point of a potential tampering case involving Randy Moss. I take that seriously. I asked if there were any facts that I should be made aware so we can pursue it as we do with any charge that’s in violation of our rules. That was the extent of my letter. There’s really no further statement from our standpoint at this juncture.

On the economy and the NFL:

We’re sensitive to the economic environment, and we’re not shielded from that any more than any other business. We are fortunate that our game is incredibly popular and strong, and I think our business is as well. We are able to manage through this, but we clearly are looking at the impact this has on our partners, our fans, and us directly. This is a difficult period of time for everybody, and we want to be sensitive and intelligent. We are working to manage through this, just like everybody else.

On any possible changes made by the NFL immediately due to the economy:

I have put it on three different levels. How can we be impacted directly by the lack of credit in the market place, and does it affect instruments like stadium financing? Secondly, does it affect our business partners that are so important to us like ESPN? Thirdly, how does it affect our consumers? They are being impacted directly with this. How will it impact their relationship with the NFL, whether it’s in ticket buying or merchandise? There are so many ways our fans interact with us, and we want to see how the economy is affecting our fans.

On how the league is protecting its players on the field:

I think our players understand they are playing a tough and competitive game, and they are trying their best out there on the field. There are just certain techniques that we have determined over the years are extremely dangerous not only to the player involved with the technique, but to the player on the other side of the technique. That is something that we’re focused on. I sent a memo to the clubs and to each player a couple weeks ago stating any conduct that unnecessarily risks the safety of other players and it has no role in the game of football and it will be disciplined at significant levels and that includes first-time offenders. I think that message is getting through in my discussions with clubs, coaches, players, and the media.

After watching evaluation tape from last weekend’s games, we believe it showed up in how the game was played. That’s a good thing.

On players’ involvement in their communities:

We had Hometown Huddle this past Tuesday. We were all in our markets across the league helping our communities. Our players, coaches and executives all participated in this. I think we all understand the responsibility we have publicly to our communities and the tremendous role we play in them. We are expected to act responsibly and to give back to our communities. We always say there’s nothing that brings a community together better than an NFL team, and that’s something we take pride in. We try to make our communities better.