For as long as I’ve had my own football blog, I’ve never really written an article in which I ranted about something.
Well, that has changed.
I usually don’t like to read articles that are just one long complaint, but today I decided to write one. The one aspect of the NFL that has really bothered me for the last few years is the ongoing concussion saga.
If you’d like my stance on the concussion saga, I will tell you that every player needs to stop complaining and just shut up and play football.
Yes, I know Dave Duerson committed suicide last year because of depression and anger as a result of concussions he suffered during his career as an NFL safety.
Yes, I know that former NFL linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide last week in what is being speculated to be because of football-related injuries to the head.But quite frankly, that has little to do with concussions in the NFL in my opinion.
Don’t get me wrong, my prayers go out to Duerson, Seau and any other player that has either committed suicide or suffered depression because of the NFL. But when it comes to adjusting player safety because of these incidents, that’s where I draw to line.
Several current NFL players complain about player safety on a regular basis in the NFL, and I am simply tired of it.
Today, New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora took to Twitter to voice his opinion on player safety.
“Its an awesome game and has done a lot for me, but i know when im 45 there is a strong chance il be in a wheelchair,” tweeted Umenyiora.
I won’t even bash Umenyiora for his poor grammar (one of my biggest pet peeves on Twitter) but I will certainly bash him for what he was saying.
First off, does anyone see former NFL players in wheelchairs? I sure as hell haven’t and I’ve met retired players throughout my life.
Second, I highly doubt Umenyiora will have any post-career complications that will end up putting him in a wheelchair.
And third, and most importantly, it’s nobody’s problem except Umenyiora’s.
If Umenyiora or any other NFL player ends up in a wheelchair later in his career, why should any of us feel sorry for the players?
You want to know why we shouldn’t care? Because it was the player’s decision to play football in the first place! It wasn’t our decision!
But for some reason, many of these narcissistic NFL players act as if someone is holding a gun to their head and forcing them to play football.
I get it, NFL players want to play the game they love, which is football. But if there is any concern about safety JUST LEAVE THE NFL!
It’s as simple as that.
There are plenty of other jobs in the world, even if they may be much lower-paying. But if there’s a player who’s concerned about injury yet stays in the NFL because of the money, doesn’t that make him a sellout? To me it seems like that.
Of course, by now you’re probably just thinking to yourself “What the hell does a 17-year old kid who doesn’t even play football know about player safety?”
I will admit that the only time I’ve played contact football for a team was for two years when I was in middle school.
So of course in that time I didn’t experience any hits that would’ve resulted in a concussion or significant injury.
But that’s irrelevant to the point I am trying to make. My point is that if an NFL player is truly concerned about his safety, he should either keep his mouth shut or retire.
Do the players not think that any other job in this world is tough?
In my opinion, guys in the NFL today act as if they are above everyone else in society. Heck, some players even call themselves heroes.
You want to know who’s a hero? Someone who puts their life on the line to save others.
Last time I checked, when Eli Manning led the Giants to victory in Super Bowl XLVI, he was neither risking his life nor saving or improving anyone else’s lives.
Heroes are soldiers, firemen, policemen, etc. The list goes on and on. Not once has any athlete been able to call themselves “heroes” based on their performance on the field.
So when NFL players complain about safety as well as display narcissistic qualities, I can’t help but connect it to other jobs like the ones I mentioned.
NFL players are not brave, they’re not heroes and they’re not entitled to speak about safety when they already wear more than enough padding.
How about soldiers overseas? They wear uniforms that don’t offer much more protection than NFL players.
So if we just assume the protection is for the most part equal, which person is in more danger? Is it the NFL player with a 250-pound linebacker running at him or is it the soldier taking cover because of an enemy rocket attack?
If you chose the NFL player, I ask that you please stop reading this article now and never visit this site again.
And this comparison goes beyond players and soldiers. I only use that comparison because my father served our country in Baghdad, Iraq from 2006-2007. In that time, he experienced many life-threatening situations such as previously mentioned rocket attacks.
But did my dad even once complain about his safety while he was working towards improving the safety of others? Absolutely not.
To me, my dad is a hero. And for as long as I will follow the NFL, I will never even once call a player a hero.
Like I said, heroes are people who risk their life for the safety of others.
How about when a firefighter runs into a burning building to save a young toddler who couldn’t get out of the building on its own? How about a policeman who attempts to arrest an armed gunman, when he knows that the gunman could pull the trigger any second?
Both of those situations require much more courage and much less safety than any NFL player has ever had to face.
It is time for NFL players to completely just stop publicly discussing player safety. In my opinion, the NFL should fine any player who openly talks about player safety in a negative way, much like what Osi Umenyiora did on Twitter today.
While I know the NFL will never actually implement a rule like that, I can still hope that it may happen.
From now on, players should be concerned with their play on the field.
If they are truly concerned with their safety and want to keep complaining about it, they can just get the hell out of the NFL.