Most players disapprove of the performance of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, thanks in significant part to the heavy hand he has used in player discipline. But Goodell says he has often built close relationships with players he had to suspend.
Goodell said on Live with Kelly and Michael that once he gets to know a player who violates the league’s personal-conduct policy, he’s often able to find common ground.
“My closest relationships are really with a lot of the guys I’ve had that kind of interaction with, on discipline,” Goodell said.
Asked by ex-Giant-turned-morning TV host Michael Strahan what the toughest part of his job is, Goodell pointed to discipline. But he also cited Michael Vick as an example of a player whose disciplinary issues led to a good relationship.
“I think the toughest, Michael, is whenever you’re dealing with some of the player discipline issues,” Goodell told Strahan. “I don’t spend an awful lot of time on that — it’s a very small part of my job. But when you’re dealing with young people who have made mistakes, and they pay a big price — Michael Vick is a good example of that, it was a difficult time. But when you see somebody accept responsibility for that, and say, ‘I want to make a difference in the world,’ and I think Michael has done that, it’s easy for me to get behind them.”
Maybe to boost his approval rating, Goodell needs to suspend more players.