I attended the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington Gala event last Saturday night. Roger Goodell got on our elevator, accompanied by security, and pleasantly asked my daughter, myself and my son who were attired in evening clothes if we were attending the Gala, too. Our brief encounter in the elevator was pleasant enough, even with my son, who holds a doctorate in physical therapy and is a former Navy Seal, asking Commissioner Goodell who his favorite team was.
I had just been at the AANLCP Conference in Atlanta where George Visger, who was a speaker at the conference on the subject of CTE, was asked what question he would put to Roger Goodell. Knowing that I was attending the the Gala event as was the Nurse Life Care Planner who posed the question to George Visger, I was hoping that there would be an opportunity for Mr. Goodell to answer the question. As chance would have it. Commissioner Goodell made a speech at the Gala and was whisked away without any opportunity for the question to be asked about how the NFL would address the retired players who were struggling with the effects of brain injuries and were not included in the settlement.
I’m not surprised that Roger Goodell’s public appearances are so carefully choreographed to avoid the spontaneous, unplanned question. Rolf Gainer’s blog on the question George Visger would ask Roger Goodell has attracted many comments on NeuroNotes from former pro-football players and their family members. But, I am wondering about Commissioner Goodell’s avoidance of addressing the real issues that retired players face. What is the NFL going to do? Why is the settlement so ridiculously low? And, is Commissioner Goodell instructed to remain silent on the subject? If so, by whom?
Football is an action sport, yet the response of the NFL is one of inaction. Where do I put the batteries to get my Roger Goodell action figure to work?