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Goodell: Ejection after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties “a positive thing”

Patriots Falcons Super Bowl Football

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference during preparations for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


At his annual Super Bowl week press conference in 2016, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell proposed a rule that would call for the ejection of players who received two personal fouls in a game.

The league ultimately adopted a narrower rule on a one-year basis that disqualified players who received two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties while excepting other kinds of personal fouls. Goodell was asked at this year’s press conference whether he thought the rule would be adopted on an ongoing basis and if there was a response to player concerns about a lack of clarity regarding what constituted unsportsmanlike conduct.

“We always seek to clarify rules. The reason we put it in as a one-year experiment is so that we can see what the impact is of the rule change. Both the intended impact and the unintended consequences of that. That’s something we have done very successfully, very effectively. I think the unsportsmanlike context of the two fouls seems to be a very positive thing.”

Goodell added that any modifications to the rule and its fate as a continued part of the game is up to the Competition Committee.