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Goodell Says That There’s Too Much Litigation Going On, Not Enough Negotiation

Give a little, get a lot.

That is Roger Goodell’s take on what is needed to resolve the NFL work stoppage, and the league’s commissioner is taking his message to fans in a series of forums to address their questions, concerns and even frustrations.

Goodell’s equivalent of a fireside chat came to the Seahawks on Friday, when he responded to queries from 18 of almost 4,000 season-ticket holders who called in to take part in the event.

“There’s not enough negotiation, there’s too much litigation right now,” said Goodell, adding that he will be in Minnesota early next week to take part in some mediation aimed at getting a new CBA between the league and its players.

“I am a firm believer that ultimately this will get resolved through negotiation and by the parties reaching agreement, and not through the courts. But we have to go through the litigation.”

That’s because the NFLPA decertified so it could sue to stop the owner’s lockout that began March 11. The owners then requested a stay, so the lockout could continue. That’s where the situation continues to be – in the hands of the courts.

“The sooner we get back to the negotiation table, the better for everybody – most particularly our fans,” Goodell said.

The questions Goodell fielded Friday ranged from what’s going on with the labor situation, to when the league might expand again, to whether Seattle will ever get a Super Bowl. But they can be slotted into three categories: frustration, concerns and questions.

Here’s a sample question and the commissioner’s response:

Bonnie from Kirkland wanted to know if the owners really understand how frustrated the fans are with the work stoppage.

“You’re absolutely right, because I understand it and I can assure you our clubs understand it,” Goodell said. “There’s no one here who wants to play football more than I do, other than our 32 clubs. That’s what they got into this for. They want to continue to have a great game and make sure that they keep delivering football.

“And we understand the frustration – the disappointment – that the fans are feeling right now. There’s no question about. And I can tell you from our perspective – meaning the 32 clubs; and from my perspective, meaning the commissioner – uncertainty is not good for the game, it’s not good for the fans, it’s not good for the players and it’s not good for the clubs. And we should remove that uncertainty as soon as possible.

“The longer this goes on, the more damage is done to the game. The owners will feel that. The players will eventually feel that. I understand exactly the frustration you’re going through and I hope we can get to a resolution sooner rather than later because of that.”

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