Goodell opines on Favre-Sterger scandal

October 12, 2010

Not even an NFL icon can skirt Roger Goodell’s personal conduct policy.

Speaking at a league owners meeting Tuesday in Chicago, Goodell said the league’s security staff is “aggressively” pursuing the possibility that Brett Favre sexually harassed a sideline reporter when both were employed by the New York Jets in 2008.

Goodell said he has received an update from NFL security chief Milt Ahlerich but there wasn’t “anything significant or new” that wasn’t already known. reported last week that Favre sent inappropriate text and voice messages to Jenn Sterger along with photos of his genitalia. Favre, who is married, has repeatedly declined to comment on whether the allegations are true.

It’s believed Sterger has yet to meet with the NFL. Whether she does could determine how much — if any — discipline Favre will face.

Goodell said he had no plans to meet with Favre but added he would “if (it were) something that would help us get to a conclusion and it’s something I feel is warranted.”

Because of his prearranged travel schedule, Goodell said it would be several more days until he delved more deeply into the Favre situation.

“I’ll get some reports and make some determinations,” Goodell said during a news conference telecast live by NFL Network. “I’d be hesitant to say any timing until I had a chance to understand it and make sure we can get all the information.”

The Favre-Sterger story has dominated NFL headlines to the point that the quarterback apologized to teammates for the media circus he created before Monday night’s 29-20 loss to the Jets.

Asked whether discipline was necessary if the Deadspin report was substantiated, Goodell smiled and said, “I’m not going to speculate on that. You know that.”

If suspended, Favre would be the biggest-name player sanctioned since Goodell initiated his personal conduct policy in the 2007 offseason. Goodell suspended two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger for four games after a sexually-charged off-field incident in Georgia during the offseason. The Pittsburgh quarterback was sanctioned despite never being criminally charged.

“I’ve often said one of the reasons we implemented a personal conduct policy is to make sure everyone associated with the NFL ... understands their responsibility to conduct themselves in a responsible fashion,” Goodell said. “We all have to understand that.”