NFL's Player Safety Farce

The NFL’s Player Safety Farce

Quarterback Cam Newton took quite a big hit in the fourth quarter of the Thursday night game. And the reactions of the NFL and the NFPA stand to change NFL betting odds quite drastically, especially if they take certain actions.

The two organizations are carrying out investigations designed to determine whether the Panthers and independent medical team members reacted as expected to the hit Newton took

The purpose is to specifically determine whether or not the league’s concussion protocol was properly executed. Unfortunately, reasonable as all this might sound, no one is buying it, especially when you realize that the NFL came out on the Friday after the game to say that all the right protocols have been followed.

This was after the Panthers’ medical personnel and independent athletic trainers were interviewed on the issue. The launch of a formal investigation on Sunday makes no sense whatsoever.

This is typical Roger Goodell. The NFL has a specific trend they follow. First, they make a statement regarding a decision, and then they wait to analyze America’s collective reaction after which they return to the drawing board and reconsider everything.

There is an argument going around that the NFL doesn’t even really care about player safety, though they are determined to make people think that they care. It doesn’t take a trained doctor to conclude that, considering the hit he took, a little more precaution should have been taken with Cam Newton.

The violent blow to the head left Newton visibly shaken. But, then again, why should that stop what was a game for the ages? And it isn’t like Newton, tough as he is, would volunteer to leave the game. The trainers obviously chose to take Newton’s word when he said he was okay.

The fact that Newton was checked four times after the game suggests that there were some suspicious about the destructive nature of the blow he took during the game. Everyone knows by now that the NFL’s concussion protocol is very situational, and the $150,000 penalty assigned for first violations is a joke.

The only thing the NFL holds sacred is their ability to make correct calls. The safety of players is secondary. You cannot compare the amount of due diligence the NFL shows during complicated calls to the time they invest in checking and testing players following serious hits.

Giving America fair and accurate victories more to the NFL than potentially saving a life; the NFL clearly cares about its image. One wonders whether they don’t see the upside of letting their viewers see the effort they inject into testing players on the field.

They don’t even have to force players to sit out a play; merely testing them after a violent altercation would make all the difference in the world. Why not throw up a red flag every time a replay coach notes a serious blow to the head.

Taking the time to rewind the tape to ensure that a player didn’t just take a life-threatening blow to the head could actually save lives. The way things are going, situations are going to unfold on the field that will force Goodell to reintroduce the face mask-less helmets. 

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