Goodell on labor situation: ‘It’s frustrating’

NEW YORK — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the media rounds inside Radio City Music Hall before the opening of Thursday night’s draft and sat down for a conversation with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen.

While discussing the need for negotiations amid the league’s labor uncertainty, Goodell was asked how he’s feeling personally. His reaction was telling.

“I’d say exactly what I said to the fans and what I sense from the fans last night: frustration,” Goodell replied. “It’s frustrating because we have so much potential. Our game is in such a great place. If we can work together to address these issues, we can make the game better. You know I’m a big believer in this game. I love the game of football. And I think we have so many great things ahead of us, and if we can address the issues and make our game stronger, invest in our game, use innovation, continue to create the competitive kind of game, that’s where we’re going to be.

“And what worries me about this litigation is a lot of the end game for the attorneys on the players’ side is to take at risk what we’re doing tonight – the draft – that’s not only made the NFL so successful, but it’s also made other sports. We’re seeing threats to the free-agency issues and the salary-cap issues, and the balance that that’s created. So what does that do for the game of football? I think that puts that at risk and we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Watch the video above for more of Goodell’s comments, or click here for a transcript of the entire interview.

— Frank Tadych

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