If there’s one thing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has tried to do since he’s been the man in charge of the league, it’s been to make the game safer. He fails miserably at that sometimes, wanting an 18-game schedule and having a full season of Thursday night games contradicts his safety claims, but overall he does care about the safety of the players.
So it was no surprise to hear that Goodell fears a player dying on the field someday. In a sport of tough guys, it’s very hard for someone to admit that, even someone who doesn’t play, yet that’s what Goodell’s biggest fear is. Friends of the commissioner told Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN the Magazine those sentiments in an upcoming article on Goodell and a former player echoed those thoughts.
“He’s terrified of it,” an unnamed Hall of Fame player who speaks regularly with Goodell said. “It wouldn’t just be a tragedy. It would be awfully bad for business.”
Business aside, the fear of a son or a daughter being seriously hurt, or worse, on the field looms large in many parents’ minds. It’s part of the reason many parents won’t allow their children to play football until a certain age, if at all. Even NFL players have spoken out and said they would think long and hard about having their children play the game. So when Roger Goodell says that he fears the unfathomable, you can only imagine what goes through a parents mind whenever their child takes the field.
There are times to be critical of Roger Goodell and his hypocrisy on player safety but this admission hits home with plenty of parents around the country. Let’s all hope the tragedy everyone fears never comes true.
you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi