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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 19th, 2014
05:58 PM ET

Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton: Fans should boycott NFL games

(CNN) – NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton gave an impassioned reaction to commissioner Roger Goodell's statements Friday, saying the league is trying to cover up a wider problem, and protect star players. Fans, he said, need to do something.

"(Fans) should start writing letters, writing e-mails, and stop going to games," Tarkenton said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

Goodell announced a sweeping policy to counter domestic abuse and sexual assault, mandating all players and staff on the league's 32 teams undergo education and training about how to prevent abuse.

But Tarkenton dismissed the announcement, calling it "the most whitewashed press conference I've ever seen."

The Hall of Fame player said Goodell's resignation will not solve the problems plaguing the NFL, because the commissioner is not the one who is really in charge.

"The problem is going to be solved by 32 owners who control the National Football League," said Tarkenton.

In the last few weeks since Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on camera viciously punching his fiancee, now wife, few owners have stepped forward and taken a hard line against domestic violence.

"(Owners) are looking the other way because in their locker room, we have people abusing kids and abusing women and they're doing illegal drugs to make them bigger, faster. Look at their bodies. They see it and don't acknowledge it because it's win, baby, win," he said.

For more of our interview with Fran Tarkenton, check out the video below.

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