NFL commissioner ‘optimistic’ about league’s future despite safety concerns

National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell "couldn't be more optimistic" about the future of professional football, despite growing concern about the sport's injuries.

President Obama said in a recent interview with The New Republic that if he had a son, he would "have to think long and hard" about letting him play football. Concerns have mounted over the long-term health impacts of the sport, particularly when it comes to repetitive head injuries.

But Goodell said the NFL was doing everything it could to keep the sport entertaining for fans, but safe for players.

"What you have to do is make sure the game is as safe as possible," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "In the NFL, we're changing the rules."

On Super Bowl Sunday, Goodell touted the NFL's efforts to update equipment to protect against injuries, and its investment in medical research on head injuries and brain damage.

"We take those issues very seriously," he said. "We're going to let the medical individuals make those points. We're going to give them the money to advance that science."

Furthermore, the NFL is studying how the game is played, looking for further ways to keep players healthy.

"The game of football has always evolved," he said. "If we see techniques that we think lead to injuries, we're going to get them out of the game."

He also pointed out that women's soccer has the second-highest rate of head injuries of any sport. Like Obama, the commissioner said he has two daughters.

"I'm concerned when they play any sport," he said.