Roger Goodell on DUIs, domestic violence: “That disturbs me”


Roger Goodell, who has made cracking down on player misconduct one of the top priorities of his tenure as NFL commissioner, says arrests this offseason have convinced him that more needs to be done.

We are going to do some things to combat this problem because some of the numbers on DUIs and domestic violence are going up and that disturbs me,” Goodell told Mike Freeman of “When there’s a pattern of mistakes, something has got to change.”

Goodell said he has talked to the NFL Players Association about the matter and is hoping to continue working with the players to reduce the number of off-field incidents that cast the NFL in a negative light.

“We’ve had some really good discussions with the union,” Goodell said. “Now we just have to see if we can carry through with them.”

Issues with players getting arrested typically disappear during training camp, because players are so busy and exhausted during training camp that they don’t have the time or the energy to find trouble off the field. But that doesn’t mean the NFL isn’t facing a serious problem with all of the arrests that happened this offseason — 32 of them, by our count. Goodell is right to be disturbed.

31 responses to “Roger Goodell on DUIs, domestic violence: “That disturbs me”

  1. After all the offseason acrimony between the two, it’s good to hear the league and union trying to collaborate on something.

  2. Have a cell phone app created that locates the nearest form of assisted transportation available at a given location as a contractually required download for all players.

    Kind of like George Costanza’s I-Toilet app.

  3. put clauses in peoples contracts to void them if they get arrested and convicted. That will stop people.

  4. I hope they try to correct the problem and not just the publicity. I can see it now. “If we could shut down that Days Without an Arrest thing. That would help”

  5. ” “When there’s a pattern of mistakes, something has got to change.””
    Mistakes !!! That’s the first problem. These aren’t mistakes. This is criminal stupidity or knowingly criminal behavior. Define it any way you want but enough of the, I made a mistake crap Roger and NFLPA.

  6. “That disturbs me”? It disturbs everyone except the person charged with the crime. This is not a bold statement. Actions will speak louder than words.

  7. Sure seems strange that since the league has discontinued it’s program for players to arrange for rides home after drinking, that DUI’s among players have risen. Wonder if there is any correlation?

  8. Making harsh accusations that have proven to be false or exaggerated cast the NFL in a bad light as well. Imposing harsh punishment that’s not deserved makes the NFL look the worst!

  9. 32 arrest this off season, that’s only one per team. But if you really want to reduce the arrest rate just kick Detroit out of the league after all they have the lions share of arrests.

  10. The union insisted on discontinuing the program to allow cabs for players when they were drunk, because the players were afraid that the league was using the information to spy on the players.

    That is a true story, since that system went away the DUI’s have gone up dramatically. Hard to ignore the correlation between the two. Union dropped the ball on that one…again.

  11. Here’s an idea the League can implement:

    Whenever you suspend a guy for either of these reasons, make it a condition of the suspension that they must spend an afternoon listening to a what a victim’s impact panel has to say on the matter. If they don’t go and do the three hours – they don’t suit up until they do. If they are so far gone they don’t learn anything from those horror stories and change their ways, they are too far gone to save.

    And when they repeat their offense, require 30 days of rehab/daily counseling before they can return. And if they still don’t get it, you’ve done what you could and they will have shown their team and every other team, too, that they have too many issues to bother with and they will be out of the league.

  12. Dez Bryant’s suspension for what? No really. For what? What do you know that his lawyer doesn’t?

    So many of you have no clue about the rules even though they are accessible at Then, you try to convict people of a crime who aren’t even on trial.

    Some of you act as though Roger just wakes up in the morning and decides whom he likes and just who he’s gonna screw, especially if they are a Saint.
    The NFL is trying to figure out how to direct a league full of young men, many from dreadful, poverty-stricken upbringings to a standard considered acceptable by average morals, law and current political correctness. That’s a tough job when all the kid wants to do is play ball and play with his money. Dez is guilty of this. The Saints are guilty of stupidity from Benson on down.

  13. I think 1st offence DUI should be a min of 6 games. 1yr on 2nd and out on the 3rd. These guys have no excuse to put other peoples lives in danger. Is it going to take one of them killing someone to wake the league and NFLPA up.

  14. Get on board with the players union and have a zero tolerance program. Its a privilege, not a right, to play in the NFL. Beat your wife and you are gone. Get a DUI once your wages are cut in half, second time you’re done. Easy…..

  15. jjmaddog says:
    Aug 1, 2012 8:37 PM
    Sure seems strange that since the league has discontinued it’s program for players to arrange for rides home after drinking, that DUI’s among players have risen. Wonder if there is any correlation?
    I doubt it. I believe one of the main reasons they discontinued it is because players felt that the teams would or could use this info against them since they were paying for it. So they weren’t using it for that and many other reasons, most of which go back to that they were being idiots.

  16. This might seem harsh but what about taking away a team’s draft pick if their player is convicted of something twice?

    Another potential idea is suspending players for the post season regardless of when the conviction happens?

    Just a couple of ideas, but I think the culture change Goodell seeks will happen if he puts more pressure on the owners, GMs, and coaches.

    Also, he needs to set up a system where he doesn’t just pick out the punishment. It needs to be a set thing (DUI = 2 games, Assualt = season for example (I just picked the length at random)) and a review board of himself, ex-coaches, and ex-players for appeals.

  17. I still haven’t seen any numbers on whether there is a greater incident of arrest amongst NFL players than the general public. If there is a significant difference than something needs to be done. If there is not, then quit reporting it every time it happens, make a punishment, dish it out, and leave it at that. I know if I commit DUI, nothing would happen at work. I know I manage someone who was convicted of DUI. All that happened to him was people (including management) give him rides every day. If i dealt with public I might be reprimanded. I don’t think anybody (even those in public service) get docked pay and suspended for DUI. I say there are more important issues like quality refs and player safety. And keep in mind I’m not making light of DUI. People die from it, it’s a very serious issue. But the law punishes people for it already. It’s not normal for someone to be docked 20% or more of their yearly salary for a DUI.

  18. I can’t believe it’s taken this long for him to comment on all of the misconduct/arrests this summer? He’s got his nose so far up “bountygate’s” butt that he doesn’t really take notice of anything else but screwing over the Saints!!!!

  19. jjmaddog says:
    Aug 1, 2012 8:37 PM
    Sure seems strange that since the league has discontinued it’s program for players to arrange for rides home after drinking, that DUI’s among players have risen. Wonder if there is any correlation?

    It was ended because the NFLPA complained about it saying they were afraid that the league could use it to monitor the players drinking habits. At that point it should be the NFLPA’s responsibility to start a new program.

  20. Ultimately neither Goddell or the US Govt can legislate morality. If players get in trouble then they should pay the price but making that price higher and higher will eventually become counter productive as players begin to feel they are being persecuted for anything they do wrong which will inevitably lead to lawsuits.

  21. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. We need harsher punishments for the college players. Make it monetary. Dock $1mil for every infraction in college off their rookie contract. These guys just aren’t afraid of getting caught.

  22. Mind your business Goodell. What players do on the field is your business. What they do off is none of yours or the leagues. If they mess up, they don’t make the roster and they have no one to blame but themselves. Quit wiping their asses for them.

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