I believe in NFL Commissioner Goodell: Joe Namath

Football legend Joe Namath says he has confidence in National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell despite the scandals that have recently rocked the sport.

"I believe in Mr. Goodell, I do. I believe in the NFL trying to do the right thing," Namath said Tuesday in an interview with "Closing Bell."

Goodell has come under fire after video surfaced earlier this month of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee back in February. Rice, who had been suspended for two games, was then released from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

Joe Namath
Johnny Nunez | WireImage | Getty Images
Joe Namath

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"The percentage of NFL players and athletes in general on a professional level, the small percentage that foul up, hey it's dwarfed by the guys that are righteous guys, guys trying to do well," Namath said.

"When we foul up, we see it. And in this case it's good because it brings to the forefront the abuse issues that we need to correct in society in general."

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The former quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Fame recipient, whose tenure in the league spanned from 1965 through 1977, is now tackling the issue of traumatic brain injury. The Joe Namath Neurological Research Center at Jupiter Medical Center opened Tuesday in Jupiter, Florida, and he's committed to raising $10 million for a study focusing on new treatments for serious head injuries.

Namath, who has personal experience with traumatic brain injury, was treated at Jupiter Medical Center. The treatment "did in fact reverse my brain cell damage," he said.

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The study is not just for athletes, though.

"We're trying to get 10 years down the road … where we can eliminate some of the progressive brain deterioration because of the trauma. We know we can regenerate the cells, you're looking at a guy who went through the process," he said.

—CNBC's Laura Petti contributed to this report.