In an expansive and well-written profile, Don Van Natta Jr. reports that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has privately expressed fears that a player could die on the field if the game’s “hard-knocks culture doesn’t change.”
According to the report for ESPN, Goodell has told one Hall of Fame player he speaks to on a regular basis he is “terrified of it.” Goodell fears tragedy striking for all the reasons you can imagine.
"It wouldn't just be a tragedy,” the Hall of Famer told Van Natta. “It would be awfully bad for business.”
Business, of course, is booming under Goodell and that is one of the primary focuses of the piece. The NFL is expected to exceed $10 billion in revenue this year and Goodell has marked $25 billion as a goal by 2027, in less than 15 years.
Only once in NFL history has a player died during a contest. Detroit Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes suffered a heart attack during a game in 1971. Hopefully, there isn’t another death anytime soon.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
Check out our partners at TiqIQ for the best deals on all games on the 2014 NFL schedule.
AUG 19 Jesse Lawrence
Seahawks, 49ers tickets lead most expensive Rivalry Game premiums on secondary market
AUG 19 Ari Nissim
A look at what the Panthers signal-caller can expect come contract time.
AUG 17 Jesse Lawrence
Ticket market suggests Alabama, Florida State favorites for National Championship.