Roger Goodell Speaks at Northwestern

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to a collection of Northwestern students and dignified guests, including Bears chairman George McCaskey and Northwestern president Morton Schapiro.

Medill alumnus and USA Today reporter Christine Brennan asked the first few questions, after which students asked several follow-ups. Goodell was scheduled to speak until 5-o-clock, but the commissioner continued to answer questions until well after the top of the hour.

Some of his responses:

When asked about the Northwestern football team’s push for unionization, Goodell said “the challenges young men and women are having playing college athletics are different than they were before. They need new solutions.” He declined to comment further, saying he didn’t know all the facts.

When asked why he came to speak at Northwestern: “I enjoy the opportunity to be able to have these kinds of exchanges. I know Christine very well and I know how important Medill is to here, how important Medill is to my wife (a Medill graduate). Journalism is very important to our business…we want the facts out there…objective journalism is important to us.”

On holding the NFL Draft in Chicago: “We hope 100,000 people show up for the draft area…Chicago’s over-delivered on this. It’s been an extraordinary experience for us to date.”

On potential NFL expansion to Los Angeles and London: “We’d like to be in both markets some day. We have now two stadiums that are entitled, we have the ability to build on those sites. Three teams may qualify to be able to do that, there’s a lot of momentum.” Goodell said he thought Los Angeles would get a team before London.

On whether the Washington Redskins’ team name is a racial slur: “In that context, it’s the name of a football team.” Goodell said he was a Redskin fan growing up, and whether the name is changed is up to the team.

Leave a Reply