NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, during his state of the league address on Friday, that he welcomed President Barack Obama’s comments about violence in football that has sparked widespread discussion about the game’s future.
“I welcome the President’s comments,” Goodell said, noting player safety has been a top priority. “We want to make sure people understand what we are doing to make our game safer.”
In an interview with the left-of-center New Republic published last weekend, Obama said, “if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”
“And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence,” Obama said. “In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.”
Goodell said there will be testing for human growth hormone next year and noted the league will make it a priority to insist on better–and proper–tackling techniques. The NFL will have neurologists on the sidelines of games next year as well.