Well, we could see this coming a mile away. Under pressure from the media, the government and other liberal groups, the NFL is changing.
From Slam Sports:
A rule proposed by the NFL’s competition committee would make it a foul for a ball carrier to smash into a defender with the crown of his helmet in open space.
It would be the first rule in American football history limiting a runner’s contact with a defender, outside of egregious acts such as punching a tackler, or grabbing his facemask while stiff-arming.
Owners vote next Wednesday at the league’s annual meeting in Phoenix on whether to approve this and five other proposed new rules, announced Thursday by the competition committee on a conference call with NFL writers.
When liberals set their minds to change something, they change it, no matter how long it takes. In the case of the NFL, it didn’t take all that long.
I’ve heard people say that this (and things like it) aren’t political issues. I think that notion couldn’t be more naive. I will agree that it shouldn’t be political, but when you live in a world where literally everything is affected by big government, then everything is, by definition, political.
I’ve heard liberals complain about football for years: “It’s despicable that they get paid way more than teachers!” or “It’s no better than watching gladiators kill each other!”, etc. But the problem for them was always that football (primarily the NFL but college too in recent years) was—and is— the most popular thing in America. Period. The overwhelming majority of Americans love the game along with its hard hits and rock star salaries.
Enter big government. Lawsuits and the threat of them slowly began leading to regulations while anecdotes of severely injured players began making the rounds on the TV networks. Before you know it, a crisis and a vacuum for change had been created. It’s the same old drill.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want NFL players to get hurt. Truly. I love the game of football and it’s always a horrible sight to see a player stay down for any reason. What’s worse, for years we didn’t know how bad the effects of repeated blows to the head, specifically concussions, were. But with increasing technology, we’re changing that. Things are getting better. Furthermore, it’s not like the game of football has ever been billed as perfectly safe. Players know the risks and are willing to take a chance with their health in order to receive the enormous payoff associated with playing and winning. It’s like anything else in life, with great risk comes great reward.
My thoughts on this are not meant to sound insensitive, rather, level-headed (pardon the pun). I say let adults make their own decisions. If they want to play a game that puts their bodies at risk, who is the government to stop them. And yes, I recognize that this rule change didn’t come from the government, but I can assure you that it was prompted by it.