NFL

Goodell: safety and security a priority

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NEW YORK (AP)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stressed Friday the league's concerns about making its events safe and secure.

Speaking to the Associated Press Sports Editors on Friday, Goodell says the league is being responsive to all challenges, and it began ramping up security with the draft, which started Thursday night.

''It's always an imperative for us,'' Goodell said. ''We try to keep all of our fans safe around any of our events. We take pride in it.''

The league's initiatives carry over to the surrounding areas of stadiums for its game. Making tailgating safe in stadium parking lots also is of prime concern for the NFL as the league ''looks at it from the moment fans enter the parking lots to the time you leave.''

''It has been and will be (emphasized),'' he added.

The NFL acted quickly in fortifying security at Radio City Music Hall of the draft, which began 10 days after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Adjustments meant about 20 percent more security personnel and increased K-9 explosive detective teams on site for the draft. Everyone attending, including Goodell, was subject to screenings, including use of metal detectors and pat-downs, and searches of personal property.

Goodell also expressed his disappointment that Los Angeles still doesn't have an NFL team - or a venue suitable to house it.

''We don't consider it dead at all,'' Goodell said when asked about the Farmers Field project being in limbo.

But he says talks are ongoing with several potential sites, including Hollywood Park, Dodger Stadium and Carson southwest of downtown LA.

''I think it's unfortunate for the market and fans and the NFL, and I think we should find a solution for it,'' Goodell said of the league's absence from LA since 1995. ''Our interest is having a team there.''

Goodell also:

-Said there are no new developments in getting HGH testing of the players started as the union continues to disagree with the testing procedures. He wouldn't put a timetable on when a solution might be reached.

-Pointed out the league's policies on promoting diversity when asked how it would handle a player publicly stating he is gay. He said those policies promote ''not just tolerance but acceptance of people's differences.''

-Admitted he's already sensing ''a buzz'' about the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather site, next February's game at the New Jersey Meadowlands. As for the potential for snow or ice or bitter cold, he predicted with a smile: ''There will be weather.''

''We can't control what that will be,'' he added, ''but we can be prepared for every (possibility).''

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Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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