Goodell plays defense during state of league address

Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:40pm EST
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By Steve Keating

PHOENIX (Reuters) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's annual Super Bowl state of the league address on Friday was not so much about highlighting the league as it was defending his own job performance during what has been a tumultuous season.

Goodell, who has come under sharp criticism for fumbling the league’s response to a string of domestic violence cases involving players, was repeatedly questioned about the controversy and missteps during the nearly one-hour media session ahead of Sunday's championship game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

The commissioner, who earns a reported $44 million annually, was asked if he should take a pay cut or should have been fired or resigned.

He said he saw no situation where something like that would happen.

"It has been a tough year," admitted Goodell. "It's been a tough year on me personally. It's been a year of what I would say is humility and learning.

"We obviously as an organization have gone through adversity but more importantly, adversity for me.

"We've all done a lot of soul searching starting with yours truly and we have taken action."

While Goodell trumpeted a line of new programs and initiatives designed to help restore the league's integrity, including a newly imposed personal conduct policy, the tough questions are likely to continue as the league deals with a deflated football scandal.   Continued...

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media before Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, Arizona January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson