The NFL returned to Mexico City Monday night for the showdown between the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders.
Some, though, have wondered how commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL might adjust plans for future visits, if at all, in the wake of comments made by President-elect Donald Trump.
Goodell spoke with ESPN and shot down any notion the league will alter its plans:
I don’t see that changing our perspective at all. For us, this is about the future and continuing to grow and to reach more fans. … This isn’t about politics.
For us, this is about uniting people. I think you’ll see fans in Mexico enjoying America’s favorite sport, football, and that’s a great thing for us to all come together behind.
Goodell went on to say the league will actively look to return based on the reception and growing international interest in the sport:
We know that we have tremendous fans around the globe and we know the Hispanic fan base is particularly interested in our game. That’s why we were so focused on getting back here. We feel it’s a great way to build the support we want within the Hispanic community.
The NFL is smart to keep pushing the pedal on growing the sport outside of the United States. While games in London haven’t provided the most thrilling action at times, the reception there and in Mexico City show how much potential there is for growth.
Regardless of what happens in the political realm, NFL fans can expect Goodell to keep pushing the sport beyond borders.