Goodell To Rookies: "Protect The Shield"NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to 252 rookie players yesterday at the NFL Rookie Symposium in Carlsbad California. He talked about the responsibility of "protecting the NFL Shield" and the behavior model he expects every NFL player to follow.
“I talked on personal conduct. I didn’t speak about anyone in particular in that case,” Goodell said. “But I did talk about what I call protecting the shield. My job is to protect the integrity of the NFL and to make sure the game is as safe as possible.”
Goodell does this every year with the league's new entrants. The symposium is designed to assist players into acclimating from the collegiate ranks to the professional level. Personal conduct is only one topic broached by the Commissioner. Personal finance and making good choices in general are some others.
"The fact they're here as NFL draft choices comes with a lot of responsibility," Goodell said.
The Commissioner stressed to the players that their worlds were getting bigger and the scope under which they travel will be more tightly scrutinized.
He said the personal conduct policy is “designed to protect the players and their reputations, because I think we have a bunch of great guys in the league.”
In his address, Goodell did mention one player - the Giants' Chad Jones - by name. Jones was one of three rookies unable to attend due to injury.
"One of the rookies I spoke to today, Chad Jones, is in the hospital actually fighting for his life. It sounds like he’s doing well, but he’s got a long road back."
“It’s about preparing yourself for life. Football’s not the only thing and it’s not going to last forever. I think they understood that message, hopefully.”
Next time you read or hear about an NFL player making a bad decision, think of this article. From day one they are instructed on what is appropriate and what is not.
There should never be any excuses about "not knowing" what is expected from the league by any player. They get it right from day one from the man himself....