Roger Goodell: We take NFL Network allegations seriously

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday the league takes all matters like the one that has come up at NFL Network “very seriously.” Several current and former analysts and one former executive were named in a suit by a former wardrobe stylist at the network, who alleges sexual harassment by the men.

“Well, I tell you, we take that very seriously,” Goodell said during a news conference with reporters after a league meeting near Dallas. “Those issues are important to us, to make sure that all of our employees, whether at the network, the league office or clubs, are working in a safe, comfortable environment, and anytime that doesn’t exist, we’re going to make sure we deal with that very quickly and very seriously.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said allegations of sexual assault against NFL Network employees are taken “very seriously.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said allegations of sexual assault against NFL Network employees are taken “very seriously.”

Goodell was asked if the league is doing its own investigation, and he said, “Oh, sure. Yes. Absolutely. And as you know, it’s a matter of litigation.”

Jami Cantor named current Network analysts Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans and Ike Taylor in her suit; the three were suspended immediately. Former NFL Network employee Donovan McNabb and executive Eric Weinberger were also named. The men are accused of multiple actions, including sending explicit text messages, making unwanted physical contact and asking inappropriate questions.

In other Goodell-related news, league spokesman Joe Lockhart said earlier Wednesday that the new five-year contract signed by Goodell will be his last, and he’ll step down after the 2023 league year, which ends in March 2024.

But at his news conference, Goodell said he hasn’t “made any determination” about his future after his extension concludes.

“This job changes; the challenges are different … I think there is a limit to how many years you should serve in this, but that’s a determination that’s made with ownership and also by yourself and your family and that’s something we’ve done and I’m prepared and ready to go,” Goodell said.

Goodell’s contract was initially set to expire in 2019, but he signed his new deal, which has a maximum value of $200 million, last week with Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who is chairman of the compensation committee and handles the commissioner’s salary. The pact, which was approved by a large majority of owners, relies heavily on incentives; Goodell’s base salary each year will reportedly be $4 million.

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