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Goodell denies saying he fears a player will die on the field

Goodell AP

On Tuesday we noted that an ESPN the Magazine profile of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that Goodell has told friends he fears a player will die on the field. On Wednesday Goodell denied ever saying that.

In a question-and-answer session following his speech at the University of North Carolina, Goodell was asked about saying he fears someone may die on the field, and he stated flatly that he had never made such comments.

“I have never said that,” Goodell said, according to a transcript provided by the NFL.

Goodell declined interview requests for the ESPN the Magazine profile, but it quoted an unnamed former player who is close to Goodell as describing Goodell as “terrified” that a player may die on the field some day. In his speech on Wednesday, however, Goodell said only that he fears any player getting hurt.

“I worry about any injury on the field,” Goodell said. “We are trying to make the game safer for the players who play. The fans care about that. The teams care about that. We are going to do everything we can to make the game safer. Any injury that we see, we want to reduce, particularly catastrophic injuries. We have been able to do that by carefully managing the rules and carefully doing what we can to improve the equipment, and we are not going to relent on that. We will continue to stay after that.”

Whether or not Goodell has actually vocalized the fear that a player will die playing in an NFL game, that would obviously be a tragedy. The kind of tragedy that Goodell is willing to change the game to avoid.

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25 Responses to “Goodell denies saying he fears a player will die on the field”
  1. Nate says: Mar 6, 2013 3:24 PM

    gotta love the offseason

  2. ravenator says: Mar 6, 2013 3:25 PM

    Does this man ever stop lying?

  3. skoobyfl says: Mar 6, 2013 3:26 PM

    So 22 games including pre-season is in the cards, got it.

  4. rrobbyrob says: Mar 6, 2013 3:31 PM

    I wonder if he’s worried about injuries during a Week 19 game between 2 teams whose playoff hopes have been gone for a couple of months at that point. Doubt it.

  5. yungbull2012 says: Mar 6, 2013 3:31 PM

    Oh you don’t say..

  6. jagsfan1 says: Mar 6, 2013 3:34 PM

    Yes…22 games PLUS let’s fly them to Europe to play as well….safety 1st!!

  7. ajgreenshands says: Mar 6, 2013 3:37 PM

    He also denied having ever gone #2.

  8. goat2060 says: Mar 6, 2013 3:37 PM

    I guess that was just another rumor…

  9. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Mar 6, 2013 3:39 PM

    funny he denies it because I’ll admit that it scares me as a fan. johnny knox was a blessing if you ask me. Anyone who for one second does not think a player can die in this game is a fool.

  10. hoops737 says: Mar 6, 2013 3:40 PM

    Still waiting on an explanation regarding the bounty situation. Cost the Saints a season without cause. I’ll be waiting.

  11. jeffa43 says: Mar 6, 2013 3:43 PM

    Goodell denies rumors he has a brain.

  12. reed20fence says: Mar 6, 2013 3:44 PM

    The man was chosen by the owners. If you’ve got a problem with him, take it up with your owner.

  13. ibreathefootball says: Mar 6, 2013 3:45 PM

    This guy is the worst commish ever! Bring back Tagliabue ASAP!

  14. steelybills says: Mar 6, 2013 3:45 PM

    @skoobyfl
    I believe the proposed 18 game season only had 2 preseason games.

  15. breakingb says: Mar 6, 2013 3:48 PM

    I’m surprised he didn’t state he fears the Saints will kill a player on the field. You know, with how violent and hard hitting the Saint’s D is.

  16. jdubkc says: Mar 6, 2013 3:49 PM

    There has to be medication for Rodger’s condition.. I mean really man, your making my head hurt.

  17. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 6, 2013 3:52 PM

    In the unfortunate event of a death on the field, trainers have been instructed to place the body on a stretcher immediately. Attach a small cord to the players wrist, and surreptitiously tug it upwards making it appear the player is raising his arm to wave to the crowd. Preferably with one thumb extended. Once they get the guy out of sight they can decide on how to present the bad news.

  18. citizenstrange says: Mar 6, 2013 3:53 PM

    You have to take Roethlisberger’s descriptions of his injuries with a grain of salt.

  19. westclaims says: Mar 6, 2013 4:00 PM

    He says “the fans want that”. He doesn’t speak for me, how about the rest of you? I don’t want it one bit “safer”.

    High risk, high reward, buyer beware.

  20. dangernearing says: Mar 6, 2013 4:05 PM

    He said it. Its the same protocol he used during the negotiating the new CBA. He leaks info that coincides with his agenda then distances himself from it. Only to bring the topic up again at a later date.

  21. andrewproughcfe says: Mar 6, 2013 4:32 PM

    But, it looks like plenty are dying off the field while Goodell denies the risk of brain injuries shortening players’ lives…

  22. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 6, 2013 4:49 PM

    31 people died in Nascar races since the 1980’s.

  23. geetee52 says: Mar 6, 2013 5:16 PM

    Pete Rozelle was commissioner for almost 30 years…Paul Tagliabue for almost 20….together they don’t come close to the amount of ink Tzar Goodell has gotten in less than 5 years.

    Enough already.

  24. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 6, 2013 9:22 PM

    Yawn.. When’s opening day again?

  25. mysteryqueen7 says: Mar 7, 2013 6:40 PM

    I bet my comment gets deleted again BUT I just have to say that I feel Roger Goodell is so tough on these NFL Players because he’s bitter because he didn’t make it in the NFL himself.
    He sure don’t like Ben Roethlisberger either. Other players have done much worse and gotten punished alot less. I guess that’s just the way the ball rolls? I know an NFL Player who says Rog is the worst thing that ever happened to the NFL.

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