Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Commissioner wants to focus on bullying

NEW YORK — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will stay in front of the issue of bullying.

In October, Jonathan Martin left the Dolphins and accused fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito of bullying. A league investigation has not been released.

"Our No. 1 priority has to make sure that we have a workplace environment that's professional, recognizing that we have some unique circumstances," Goodell said during his state of the league address Friday.

Currently, workplace behavior is discussed at the league's annual rookie symposium, and all teams are supposed to cover it during training camp.

"I've already begun discussions with outside parties," Goodell said. "I've discussed it with the union. I've also met with several groups of players, individually and collectively, to talk about the circumstances. What needs to be done? What do we all want? And the No. 1 thing I hear, and the No. 1 (thing) that I believe is: We all have to get back to respect.

"It's respect for each other, respect for the game, respect for your organizations, respect for your opponents, the game officials."

Among other topics, Goodell said:

• Adding two teams to the playoffs will "continue to get serious consideration." The competition committee is expected to look into it this offseason.

• The committee also will discuss having replays overseen by the league office. Major League Baseball recently joined the NHL in centralized replay systems.

• The Redskins' nickname has been "presented in a way that honors Native Americans" and the vast majority of Americans in general and Native Americans in particular support them keeping it. Asked if "Redskin" was appropriate to refer to a Native American, Goodell said, "This is the name of a football team."

• He is confident the concussion settlement between the league and former players will be approved. A federal judge denied preliminary approval for the $765 million settlement, questioning if there's enough money to cover 20,000 retired players.

Rams to L.A.? A company tied to Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchased 60 acres in the Los Angeles area amid speculation the franchise is considering returning there. In a statement released by Kroenke Organizations, "We have yet to decide what we are going to do with the property. But we will look at all options as we do with all of our properties." A clause in the Rams' current stadium lease allows them to leave St. Louis starting in March 2015.

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