Super Bowl 2022: Roger Goodell addresses Brian Flores lawsuit, Washington investigation and other NFL topics
Roger Goodell’s State of the NFL address before the Super Bowl has become one of the week’s standout events throughout his tenure. The commissioner sits down and answers questions from the national media and covers a wide range of topics. Over the years, this has been the occasion to ask Goodell about the number of controversies the league has been embroiled in and this year was no exception.
Below, you can read the main talking points from Goodell’s press conference and his answers to some of the league’s biggest questions.
Trial of Brian Flores
The NFL’s initial statement at Brian Flores’ trial alleging racism in his hiring practices said his claims were “baseless.” Goodell then sent a note to all 32 clubs saying there were not enough to push forward with minority hires. Asked about the initial response at his Wednesday press conference, Goodell said it had to do with “legal claims” instead of what Flores and others have endured over the course of their careers.
“I think the initial reaction was to the legal claims themselves,” Goodell said. “And not what we would say about the experiences of what coach Flores went through. That’s what interests me the most. I’ve put the legal claims and the legal process aside and it will be handled by lawyers For me it’s more important for us to listen [Flores] and understanding what he and the other coaches are going through, what our clubs are going through and what feedback they’re having and also re-evaluating everything we’re doing.
” Let’s see. Are we making mistakes that we make unconsciously? Or do we not think it was a mistake? We must be open to each of them.
Dolphins offer money to Flores for losing games
One of the main side stories to Flores’ trial was the accusation that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 per loss during the 2019 season to improve the team’s draft position. Asked about this situation, Goodell said he found all of the allegations in Flores’ lawsuit “very disturbing.” He also added that “the integrity of the game is very important” and that the league will treat this complaint “very seriously”.
Along the same lines, Goodell was asked if the owners of the NFL had the power to exclude another owner. To that he replied: “I think clubs have the power to remove an owner from the league.”
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Lack of minority head coaching hires in the NFL
Goodell tackled the lack of employment of minorities in the head coaching cycle this year at the peak of its presser and pointed out that the league was able to bring black and other minority coaches into the room for an interview, but they are looking to go further.
“They walk into the room and they get the interviews,” Goodell said. “What we want to see are results. We want to see black head coaches in the NFL and coaches of people of color, and possibly gender. We think everything is important, so we have an inclusive process and , hopefully an inclusive result.”
The commissioner was later pressed on the subject by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones and asked about team owners’ plans to address racism and bias.
“We will not tolerate racism,” he said. “We will not tolerate discrimination. If there are policies that we need to change, we will. We absolutely will.”
Goodell reiterated that the NFL will conduct an independent investigation into Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder following allegations of sexual harassment by Tiffani Johnston rather than that team itself. Goodell added that he “doesn’t see how a team can investigate itself.”
“Obviously we’re going to do an investigation,” Goodell said. “We need to figure out what really, really happened.”
Goodell also told reporters that the NFL had not reached an agreement with Snyder that would require his approval to release reports to the public.
Goodell was asked to provide an update on the sale of the Denver Broncos. The commissioner says he would expect the franchise to be sold before the start of the 2022 season.
He also said he had been in contact with media mogul Byron Allen, who said he would bid for the team “multiple times” as the NFL seeks to diversify the ownership group.
“We would like to see a diverse team owner,” Goodell said. “Whether it’s a person of color or a black woman or man, we think that would be a really positive step for us. And something that we’ve encouraged. And one of the reasons why we have reached out to find candidates who can do this.
“There’s no timeline. The Denver Broncos are selling the team, not the NFL. We would have endorsement rights but I think we’ll be very clear, and we already have with the Broncos that’s something. something we would definitely look to have in the ownership group.”
Deflate destroyed data
A new report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk in his upcoming book playmakers notes that the NFL, specifically General Counsel Jeff Pash, ordered the deletion of data collected during the 2015 season. The book details that data from these PSI spot checks during that season would have been consistent with the football used by the Patriots during the AFC Championship against the Colts that sparked the saga, thus distorting the initial allegations of wrongdoing.
When asked why the league decided to destroy that data instead of making it public, Goodell said he didn’t know what happened.
Bill Stage Negotiations
Goodell complemented New York Governor Kathy Hochul and said he was “encouraged by the progress made” by the Buffalo Bills in their negotiations with the state to fund a new stadium.
“The bottom line is we need to get a new stadium in Buffalo,” Goodell said, via The Buffalo News. “The governor has recognized that. It has to be a public-private partnership. All parties are going to have to work together. That means the state, the county, the team, and the NFL can make it happen.”
The NFL’s international plans in 2022
Goodell announced that Munich will host one game in 2022 and there will be a total of four games in Germany over the next four years. Two of them will be in Munich and the others in Frankfurt.
The commissioner also added that there will be a game in Mexico this season.