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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 24 April, 2018

Sorry seems to be the hardest word for NFL commissioner Goodell

Roger Goodell issues an apology that doesn’t actually apologise for the NFL’s role in the referee’s dispute.

Roger Goodell has given the thumbs up to the new referee's agreement.
Roger Goodell has given the thumbs up to the new referee's agreement.
Image: Bill Kostroun/AP/Press Association Images

NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL has issued an apologetic email to NFL fans, without actually apologising for all the blown calls and game-changing decisions made by the replacement referees.

The closest Goodell comes is when he says “I regret we were not able to secure an agreement sooner in the process…. You deserve better.”

Goodell insists the NFL believe in accountability, not excuses, yet takes time to commend the replacement officials – widely derided by the rest of the football world – for “taking on an unenviable task and doing it with focus and dedication in the most adverse of circumstances.”

In the short email, Goodell goes into some of the reasons for the dispute, insisting that money was not the key stumbling block.

“While the financial issues received the most attention, these negotiations were much more about long-term reforms. For example, beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option of hiring a number of officials on a full-time basis to work year-round, including on the field.

“In addition, the NFL will have the option to retain additional officials for training and development purposes, and may assign those additional officials to work NFL games.”

He ends the email by thanking fans for their passion and assuring them that “we are moving forward with the finest officials in sports back on the field.”

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Steve O'Rourke

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