Roger Goodell: NFL has made 'tremendous progress' on domestic violence

Roger Goodell says NFL league has ‘made tremendous progress’ on domestic violence.
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says that the league has made "tremendous progress" in terms of dealing with incidents that fall under the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy.

Speaking on WFAN Radio, Goodell said the Personal Conduct Policy has evolved, despite receiving backlash from punishments handed out to former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, former defensive end Greg Hardy, former New York Giants kicker Josh Brown and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

"We've learned a lot, but these are complex matters," Goodell said. "When you talk to the domestic violence experts, these are difficult matters to deal with. You have rights, you have families that you have to be concerned with, privacy issues. Yes, you want to make sure you're doing everything possible to address these (alleged incidents) when they happen, but you also want to deal with them to prevent them from happening.

"I think we've made tremendous progress. Can we make more and will we make more? Of course," Goodell added.

The NFL suspended Brown for one game amid allegations that he physically assaulted his now ex-wife. He was subsequently placed on the commissioner's exempt list before the Giants finally released him on Tuesday.

Goodell says the league did not receive information from Washington state authorities when investigating Brown. The King's County Sheriff has said the NFL's investigators failed to go through the proper protocol and did not identify themselves when asking for information.

"Here's the issue, the discipline that occurred on the one game was for the event on May of 2015," Goodell said. "That was the only one that we were able to get of all the different things that we've heard. The decision was made by our team after we had the evidence to be able to support the one game. We knew we would get challenged (by the NFL Players Association) and we were able to uphold it."

Goodell says that the first year of the Personal Conduct Policy that the number of arrests for NFL players decreased 40%, with another decrease occurring this season.

"So what we're seeing is the policy is working," Goodell said. "Is it perfect? No. But we're dealing with very imperfect circumstances. Very complex circumstances. You strive to get it right in every opportunity."

- Scooby Axson