A Mom’s Voice: Player Safety should be Job One for the NFL

I can make an intelligent decision on just about anything if given the right information.  The pros and cons list is a strategy as old as the hills used by those pondering a difficult decision.  Today, the term SWOT analysis is widely used as a technique for analyzing, getting a clear picture of all sides of an issue.   Anyone can make a decision if they are given all of the facts and the areas of hazard or concern are spelled out at the beginning.  So it is with this topic of, “Is American Football a Safe Sport and Is Player safety tantamount in the minds of the leadership of the National Football League? Should the Rules be revamped to create a safer playing experience for athletes?”   It is time for the best and most reliable data to be disclosed on the casualties of American Football so that Pop Warner parents, High School & College Players can know the risks and rewards of America’s favorite sport.

Increasingly there are more articles, interviews and news stories popping up on the web, magazines, TV etc that give personal testimonies from former football players about their current health struggles and damage to their bodies from football injuries.

“You knew this was a dangerous sport!” is the commonly used phrase that players say they have had  said to them.  But let me pose this question:  “Who is the most important personnel in a football competition?”  Is it the Head Coach?  How about the position Coaches?  Is it the Trainers? Is it the Fans?  How about the Commentators?  Is it the Referees?  How about the concessionaires?  Parking Lot attendees?  Law Enforcement?  Team Doctors? Cheerleaders? Mascot?  Executive Office Personnel (Team Owner, Football Operations, Scouts)? Is it the Football Players ?  I submit to you that all of these roles are vitally important and work in tandem. However in my opinion, Football Players get the least amount of consideration when it should be just the opposite.

Darrelle Revis
Torn ACL Injury

It takes all of these entities and many more to create the ‘game day’ experience.  I will bet you my life savings that if the head coach got clocked by a flying object on the sidelines and after being examined he couldn’t remember the next play or the day of the week, he would not be told ‘Continue on and Get back to work’.   The same goes for the other personnel I named,  the life and health of Trainers, Referees, Law Enforcement, Stadium Officials all would be taken serious and the ‘game’ would be put into perspective as insignificant.  Therefore, Why is it that the men who make football a past time for all of us get taped up, doused with smelling salts,  injected with pain killers  and more tactics to send them back onto a field of play that is high speed and requires one to be fully alert and aware.  There is no logical reason to keep the 2nd and 3rd stringers on the bench when that is why they are on the payroll – To fill in for the starter that goes down.

We all know that football is a rough and physical sport.  The players know it and everyone associated with the sport knows it.  However, it is high time that the Players get the preferential treatment they deserve when it comes down to injuries.  The players need to be regarded like you or I would if we passed out at a football game.  I am referring here to the prompt serious medical attention that would be administered.  The paramedics are not going to say ‘Suck it Up’ and continue your ‘Fan’ responsibility.    The NFL needs to treat these players with the highest and best care and not jeopardize these young courageous mens’ futures by making them play 16 games and every down.  Super heroes exist in comic strips.  The analogies to today’s pro football players makes for good advertising, but the reality is these men are not made of steel.  They are human flesh, which is precious and unable to be duplicated or cloned.

For more about Erica visit her Pro Player Insider bio page by clicking here.

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