NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called in to ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” to give his first public comments on the Tom Brady ruling by Judge Richard Berman to uplift the four-game suspension for deflating footballs.
Goodell acknowledged that his current role of being the judge, jury and executioner for the NFL is “time consuming,” and said that he has been in discussion with improving the discipline in the NFL, because he does not believe courts are where the discussions for player discipline should take place.
“From our standpoint, we want to get to a better discipline system,” he said. “We’re open to that and we have had several discussions with the union about how to do that. We have done that on the field over the last several years, and I think we’ve got a better system. We have done that in our drug and steroid program. I think we have a better system than we do before those changes. And I believe that we can do that here where we can come with changes whether they are a designated discipline officer or panel. Those things can help us get to a better place, and ultimately better decisions. Courts are not where we should be having these discussions.”
Goodell then added, “I’m very to changing my role on that. It’s become extremely time consuming, and I think I have to be focused on a variety of other issues and that’s what I have discussed with the owners over the years. We believe that a discipline officer, some type of panel, that could make an initial decision and a designee of mine on some type of appeal would be a better system but we also have some resistance to a third-party arbitration. We believe the standards of the NFL are important to uphold; we believe you don’t delegate that responsibility or those standards.”