Skip to main content

Play Smart. Play Safe. - NFL Commitment to Player Health & Safety

A Letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell


Some of the greatest athletes in the world play football. Their ability to surprise and dazzle us with their talent—to lift our spirits—never ceases to amaze me. It's why nearly 200 million people call themselves fans of the National Football League. Because on any given game day, something incredible is going to happen.

Our game, of course, is a contact sport. Fans love to see the action on the field, including the big hits. While we can never completely eliminate the risk of injury, we are always striving to make the game safer—for our professional athletes down to young athletes first learning how to play.

We've made important progress in health and safety. We've made safety-related rules changes, encouraged advancements in equipment, improved medical protocols and care and changed the way we teach the game. Rightfully, much of the public discussion is about concussions—how they happen, how they can be prevented and treated and what is known about their long-term impact. That is what I want to focus on here today.

The NFL has been a leader on health and safety in many ways, and we've made some real strides in recent years. But when it comes to addressing head injuries in our game, I'm not satisfied, and neither are the owners of the NFL's 32 clubs. We can and will do better.

Moving forward, our foremost priority will be to continually raise our standards and then surpass them. Let me tell you how.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content