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NFL poll: 61 percent of players disapprove of commissioner Roger Goodell

01.28.13 at 10:10 am ET

According to a poll of 300 NFL players conducted by USA Today between Dec. 19 and Jan. 2, 61 percent of the players said they disapprove of the job done by commissioner Roger Goodell.

Most of the players’ displeasure centered around increased fines for dangerous hits on receivers and quarterbacks, as well as Goodell’s handling of the Saints’ bounty scandal.

The players were granted anonymity, although Steelers linebacker James Harrison didn’t need it.

“I think it’s obvious that I disapprove,” said the oft-fined Harrison. “I feel like what he’s doing is not totally for the safety of players. … A lot of stuff they’ve done, [such as] fining guys crazy amounts of money for helmet-to-helmet hits and all that and saying you’re doing this for the safety of players — but yet you want to add extra games to the regular season.

“In the true interest of player safety, I would have no issue with it. But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about money. Who hired Roger Goodell?”

Responded league spokesman Greg Aiello: “Roger Goodell has tremendous respect for NFL players and always seeks their views on a wide range of issues. He values their input tremendously in working to make the game better. Roger broke into the league 30 years ago working closely with players, and he hasn’t changed that approach.”

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