Roger Goodell]
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference ahead of the Super Bowl 57 NFL football game, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Phoenix. The Kansas City Chiefs will play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Roger Goodell Talks State of the NFL

Roger Goodell talked about multiple issues at his press conference on Wednesday ahead of the Super Bowl. He touched on a number of key topics relevant in the league this past season.

Diversity

Diversity was a hot topic in the press conference, as Goodell received numerous questions about his thoughts on the subject. Goodell discussed the importance of diversity, explaining how he is happy to see two African American quarterbacks starting in the Super Bowl. He also discussed the 11 Black starting quarterbacks in the league, praising the extraordinary talent of quarterbacks.

While Goodell acknowledged the advancements made in the league so far, he also said “there is progress, and we are pleased to see progress- but it’s never enough.” He emphasized that diversity makes the league stronger. Goodell knows that many people want immediate changes, but he said he wants the changes to be sustainable. He believes that the league’s diversity programs have been doing a tremendous job in trying to implement change.

Changing Protocols and Safety

This season, there was an increase in the number of concussions across the league. While this seems concerning, Goodell explains that it is due to increased safety precautions and improved protocol. Goodell was clear that he is willing to do anything to make the game safer. October’s changes to protocol increased concussion evaluations by 17%, causing the number of concussions to spike during the regular season. The increased evaluations are a step in the right direction in ensuring player safety and proper recovery time.

 

More Work to be Done

Goodell spoke about how improvements have been made to ensure player safety, but more can be done. Helmets play a pivotal role in preventing serious injury and players have been wearing helmets with advanced technology for years. Goodell believes that there are still changes to be made in helmets to fully enhance the safety of the game, and that will be a focus for the league in the offseason. Goodell also touched on rules, saying that he believes rules play a role in allowing for injury-causing hits.

 

About Ainsley Davis

Ainsley Davis is a second-year sports journalism student at the University of Florida.

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