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Full text of letter from Roger Goodell to NFL fans

[Editor’s note:  Commissioner Roger Goodell has sent a letter to all fans in advance of the launch of the 2012 regular season.  The full text of the letter appears below.]

The 2012 NFL regular season is about to begin, and it promises to be another exciting, competitive, and unpredictable year of football which NFL fans have come to expect every season.

Part of our responsibility in helping teams and players prepare for each NFL season is to make sure they understand and respect league policies and rules. As always, we hold everyone, including ourselves, strictly accountable for protecting the integrity of the game, starting with the health and safety of our players. This year is no exception — bringing with it a clear, consistent, and renewed emphasis on enforcing our longstanding “bounty” prohibition.

Let me be clear: there is no place for bounties in football. No exceptions. No excuses. Bounties are an affront to everything that competitive sports should represent. Everyone in the NFL is responsible for adhering to these rules and we are all accountable for protecting the safety of our players – present and future.

The bounty prohibition forbids offering or accepting any reward — cash or otherwise — for on-field misconduct, plays that incentivize or result in injury to opposing players, or for performance against an opposing player, group of players, or team. The bounty prohibition not only preserves the competitive integrity of our game, but also protects player safety by removing incentives that could lead to dangerous play or unnecessary and/or intentional injury. As a league, we will ensure that the prohibition against bounties is clearly understood and consistently enforced. Period.

We will aggressively protect the health, safety and long-term livelihood of our players, both on the field and off. We can preserve the fierce competition that makes football great, while simultaneously committing to the relentless pursuit of safer play. Our players do not make excuses on the field; we will not make them off the field.

It is our job to protect, preserve, and promote the game of football that we all love. We want an exciting game featuring the world’s most talented football players enjoying long and successful careers. The bounty prohibition plays an instrumental role in achieving that. And we are committed to holding every team, player and owner accountable.

We appreciate your interest and hope you enjoy the 2012 NFL season.

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24 Responses to “Full text of letter from Roger Goodell to NFL fans”
  1. ricksaints says: Aug 31, 2012 12:48 PM

    Bring back Tagliabue.

  2. sportmentary says: Aug 31, 2012 12:49 PM

    I can’t argue against the points he makes.

  3. chazelton says: Aug 31, 2012 1:03 PM

    Releasing this letter states to me that Judge Berriger is about to release ruling opposing the NFL and finding them to have acted inappropriately in the bounty case.

    Sad to me that the commissioner is sticking to his guns. The NFL made a mistake. They eluded to far more evidence than there really was.

    This is damage control.

    Not a Saint fan.

  4. sdisme says: Aug 31, 2012 1:09 PM

    Thought bounties were off-field infractions? Remember the conduct detrimental thing.

  5. voiceofreasonsays says: Aug 31, 2012 1:09 PM

    Dig up Rozelle and appoint him the job. Rozelle in his current state is better than Rog’ ever will be.

  6. plax18 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:22 PM

    So your going to protect the health and safety of players, but your rolling with replacement officials that would struggle in a pee wee game. Makes sense.

  7. tfrommer says: Aug 31, 2012 1:25 PM

    And not a word about the locked out real refs?

  8. alexk49 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:41 PM

    What about the refs! If he is so concerned with the integrity of the game, there is no way he can be ok with these JV refs. So hypocritical.

  9. joshstanley78 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:49 PM

    Sounds about right to me, Saints’ players gave inappropriate cash rewards for performance against other players. We can argue weather or not they encouraged injuries as part of the process; but at the end of the day they violated the bounty rules.

    I for one am glad that Mr. Goodell holds players accountable for their actions. If players don’t want to be disciplined then they should follow the rules, if you don’t like the rules they can find a new job. Playing in the NFL is not a right.

  10. rhodeislandpatriotsfan says: Aug 31, 2012 2:44 PM

    All in all, Roger Goodell has done a fine job as NFL Commissioner. While a vocal minority may disapprove of him, I suspect he has the support of the silent majority of NFL fans.

  11. jutts says: Aug 31, 2012 4:09 PM

    It would be settled for a measley 1.5 mil per team. Are you kidding me. I mean how cheap can billionares be for Gods sake?

  12. stevemdlthn says: Aug 31, 2012 5:21 PM

    Goodell is bad for the game. He’s dangerous, so much power but has a major flaw. Can’t admit to a mistake, I believe he has a hidden agenda or score to settle with Payton. How the hell does Kenny Britt get a one game?

  13. stevemdlthn says: Aug 31, 2012 5:37 PM

    Freeh Report must be coming soon

  14. commonsensedude says: Aug 31, 2012 8:08 PM

    No Friday is complete without an unsolicited email from Roger Goodell that somehow got past my spam filter. Now my weekend can begin!

  15. wealldat says: Aug 31, 2012 11:14 PM

    Roger Godell is about the most self centered piece of trash I’ve ever seen in my life. I hope Vilma sue’s him for everything he’s got!!!!!

  16. staffordsyear says: Sep 1, 2012 6:58 AM

    Bounties..once again whoopy doo, what pisses me off is the ticky tack calls on the qbs..if a olineman happens to knock a dlineman on the ground and his forearm happens to hit the qbs chin that should NOT result in a “roughing the passer” call! Or when the defenders hand happens to clank the side of the qbs helmet for a “roughing the passer” call..its total bs and i for one is sick of it..they wear pads for a reason..this isnt right.

  17. mancave001 says: Sep 1, 2012 9:11 AM

    I happen to think it’s less about Goodell personally than the power he has contractually. People claim he’s “bad for the game” or “drunk with power” are totally off base in my view. The structure is the problem, especially with player discipline.

    As for the letter, it’s hard to argue against any of the points he makes. The league doesn’t want anything even resembling a bounty. No bounties, no pay for performance…NOTHING. “Period,” has Goodell writes.

    *That*, ladies and gentlemen, is why the Saints organization needs to simply take its medicine and move on. I know there are questions about evidence, what constitutes a bounty, etc. But they clearly had some sort of program resembling what Goodell describes in this letter. Can we agree to that, at least? The NFL warned the Saints before on these types of programs (technically bounties or not) and the Saints ignored them. That is why Goodell laid down the law.

  18. skinsgame says: Sep 1, 2012 1:12 PM

    ^The NFL also “warned” teams not to pay players in an obvious effort to gain an advantage heading into the lockout. The NFL is moving into a season with replacement officials, directly conflicting with his stated concern for player safety and integrity of the game. Am I supposed to believe he “cares” because he suspends players with a greater frequency than his predecessor? If he is not power drunk and egomaniacal, he’s done a poor job of disproving those accusations.

    It’s just too difficult to disregard the overwhelming major issues he’s brought upon himself. Everything he says now
    has to be filtered and looked at sideways, no exceptions. He can’t leave soon enough for me.

  19. bittersportspills says: Sep 1, 2012 10:16 PM

    Goodell is not good for the game. Period.

    The bounty situation. Fine. He did what he had to do. But the imitation officials? How does that fit into “protect, preserve, and promote the game of football”?

  20. raiders4life says: Sep 2, 2012 3:24 PM

    I just too bad he didn’t wrap up his message with “..and this will be the last season the NFL is not in Los Angeles.” Our day will come #LosAngelesRaiders’13

  21. raiders4life says: Sep 2, 2012 3:24 PM

    It’s just too bad he didn’t wrap up his message with “..and this will be the last season the NFL is not in Los Angeles.” Our day will come #LosAngelesRaiders’13

  22. mwindle1973 says: Sep 2, 2012 6:36 PM

    He has valid points. Especially about the bounties and illegal “under-the-table” payments/incentives.

  23. nofunleague says: Sep 3, 2012 11:46 AM

    And if someone does get hit really hard, even if illegally, we will put that hit and all others like it, together on a DVD, and sell it as the best hits of 2012, for profits to the NFL and NFL films and at the cost of the players health.

  24. bikelikemike says: Sep 4, 2012 12:37 PM

    Hey guess what?? This suck-ass site is taking down everything I write because they don’t want any conservatives to be heard. I’ve seen VERY MUCH harsh language left up for days (if not permanently), so it’s not that!! And I’ve seen people go off on Capitalism and waging a war on the rich, and defending anything union… so it can’t be that I have something to say in opposition!! Obviously it’s a site run by people who also have a tv network who take money from George Soros for stabbing anything conservative right in the f’n eye!!! How sad that in America such a dishonest place exists!! And how sad that these people are so scared that there are people out there who don’t think exactly like them that they allow their opposition to be muzzled!!

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