Legendary NFL quarterback Roger Staubach got some airtime during the National Football Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Tuesday -- a real nice affair. Lots of people were there, and ESPN even decided to cover the event.
To lighten the mood, he decided to mix it up with a topical joke.
"So I had a ... I had a chance to sit next to the commissioner of football, Pete Rozelle, tonight also, and ..." Staubach trailed off. "Oh excuse me, Roger Goodell. Um, I apologize I had six concussions in the NFL, so ..."
People laughed, including one man in particular: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who cameras cut to right after Staubach's quip, most unfortunately for him.
This is, of course, not a great look. Concussions remain an incredibly serious issue in the NFL, and we are just weeks away from the debut of "Concussion," a film starring Will Smith about the NFL's reluctance to take concussions seriously. Now is not the time to be laughing on ESPN about the cognitive decay associated with your sport.
If you want to brush off the commissioner's laughter by saying anyone in his position would feel obligated to laugh at such an awkward joke, that's fine -- understandable even. But Goodell also apparently approved it, which is a, uh, questionable decision.
"I told Roger I was going to tell that corny joke and he approved it," Staubach said.
Again, lots of people were on hand for the event, and others could watch it on TV, too. It was not a secret meeting. You have to wonder what Goodell was thinking.
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