NFL GMs, head coaches and potential future players are adjusting for the first ever coronavirus pandemic.on Thursday night. , since in-person meetings are not possible due to the
Commissioner Roger Goodell needed to make some changes to his home as well. He had video teams come in to transform his basement from a place for his kids to the NFL Draft headquarters.
A mini studio is set up in his basement and three people will be there with him as the clock is winding downs for teams to make their selections. There are multiple cameras, televisions and computers in the space to ensure they have what they need to make
Goodell sat down (virtually, of course) with Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" to discuss all elements of the draft and more.
.@nflcommish talks to @robinroberts about the 1st ever virtual draft tonight and why it was important to carry on with the 2020 #NFLDraft amid coronavirus. His message to players: “With all that’s going on, we need more experiences together.” pic.twitter.com/EQ2nHQmbr2— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 23, 2020
Despite this draft not being what teams, future players, or Goodell imagined, he said there is a sign of hope here. Hope is a theme for the draft in a typical year, with college players living out their dreams, but now that feeling is even more evident. The draft is giving hope of a normal future.
"The draft has always been about hope, but this year with all that's going on in our society and around the globe, we need more experiences together and we need that ability to look forward and maybe have a distraction or diversion from all that we're going through over the last couple of months. And this is a way to bring people together virtually."
This draft is also an opportunity for the league to use their platform to help others. The NFL set up a "draft-a-thon" to raise awareness to those in need due to the pandemic and as a way to thank medical professionals and essential workers for all they do everyday.
The draft-a-thon will be raising money for coronavirus relief efforts, and Goodell said it will be another way to show just how giving football fans are. The charity has already raised $80 million from those in the NFL family.
When it comes to NFL Draft traditions, Goodell was asked if he would missfrom fans at the event. Laughing, Goodell admitted that it won't be the same without that element of the draft this year.
"They love to boo and I love it myself," Goodell said. "So we're gonna find a way to bring that in tonight and hear from our fans directly because it's just part of the tradition that we want to continue."
As far as the 2020 NFL season starting on time goes, Goodell expressed that they are making steps to do so, but no one knows what the future holds. He made sure to emphasize that the safety of fans, players, coaches and others involved in game day action remains the first priority, but added that the league is ready to make alternative plans if needed.