Goodell on why NFL settled lawsuit: 'We want to help our players'

We hadn’t heard much from commissioner Roger Goodell since the NFL and the 4,500 players that were suing the league over the concussion issue settled their lawsuit for $765 million last week.

But Goodell appeared on CBS This Morning and he said the reason the NFL decided to settle was because “the most important thing to us was to be able to resolve the differences and get relief to the players as soon as possible and their families.”

Said Goodell: “We compromised on our positions. There was no admission of guilt. There was no recognition that anything was caused by football. But the reality is we want to help our players. If we litigated this, it would have been years of litigation and the help wouldn’t have been given to the players.”

Goodell was asked if he thought the settlement would successfully prevent others from suing the league for negligence on the concussion issue.

“Litigation is never over,” he said. “There are lawyers, and they’ll continue to bring the litigation. But we believe we’ve reached an agreement that’s resolved these issues.”

Goodell also was joined on CBS This Morning by the CEO and founder of Under Armour, Kevin Plank, and together the two announced a new initiative between the two companies that would help to study preventing and identifying brain injuries.

Goodell said the agreement would help the league -- and the future of the league -- going forward.

“Parents know we’re doing the right things to protect their children by making sure the rules are properly enforced and by investing in research,” Goodell said. “I believe the game is safer and better than ever before.”

As far as the HGH agreement that continues to stymie the league and the players union, Goodell said, “We believe we have a program that’s ready to be implemented. It’s up to the union right now to accept that program.”

Will that happen soon?

“I sure hope so,” Goodell said. “We’ve been optimistic before. We’ve done everything before to say yes.”

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