HomeSPORTSIf the NFL cares deeply about participant security, then why are groups...

If the NFL cares deeply about participant security, then why are groups nonetheless taking part in on synthetic turf?

Rashan Gary

Rashan Gary
Photograph: Getty Photos

Within the inherently violent contact sport of soccer, there’s solely a lot that may be performed to make the sport secure. Guaranteeing the security of its gamers must be the No. 1 concern for any soccer league, particularly the NFL. Over the previous decade, the league’s favourite slogan has been “participant security.”

They’ve performed a greater job of defending gamers in sure phases of the sport, like eliminating many massive hits like those that had been as soon as featured on ESPN’s “Jacked Up” section. The NFL has performed every little thing in need of putting crimson observe jerseys on quarterbacks to guard their headliners from pointless hurt. Even with particular provisions in place, it’s nonetheless soccer, and gamers will get damage.

Whereas head trauma is without doubt one of the greatest considerations within the recreation, decrease extremity accidents are additionally widespread. We regularly see gamers get damage by planting awkwardly with nobody inside 5 yards of them. These accidents normally occur in stadiums with synthetic turf. Inexperienced Bay Packers veteran linebacker De’Vondre Campbell not too long ago posted on Instagram about how harmful taking part in on synthetic turf could be.

“That is two weeks in a row we’ve had gamers get injured on turf fields. I feel it’s time y’all take among the cash y’all make off us and spend money on grass fields for each staff across the league. The turf is actually like concrete it has no give whenever you plant @NFL”

Campbell illustrates a great point. Why are NFL teams still playing on fake grass in 2022? If the league cares so much about the safety of players, you’d think they would’ve done away with turf years ago. Or maybe the NFL only cares about injuries that could land them in court, like concussions.

For the NFL and its team’s owners, it’s all about cost-cutting where they can to maximize profitability. Remember that the NFL is a business. Artificial turf is easier and cheaper to keep up than natural grass. The game moves faster on turf, but if it’s detrimental to player safety, it isn’t worth it.

Fourteen NFL stadiums still have turf, which accounts for 16 groups throughout the league taking part in dwelling video games on the bogus floor. The Chargers and Rams share SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., whereas the Giants and Jets play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. A examine by College Hospitals Sports activities Medication Institute discovered that athletes usually tend to undergo an damage on synthetic turf than on grass.

“They discovered athletes had been 58 % extra prone to maintain an damage throughout athletic exercise on synthetic turf. Harm charges had been considerably greater for soccer,” the sports activities drugs institute said. “Decrease extremity, higher extremity, and torso accidents had been additionally discovered to happen with a better incidence on synthetic turf.”

In 2020, NFLPA President JC Trotter, a retired heart who performed for the Packers and the Cleveland Browns, wrote a letter discussing the grass/turf debate.

In brief, NFL golf equipment ought to proactively change all discipline surfaces to pure grass. The NFL is a machine that chews gamers up and spits ‘em out when they’re completed sucking the life out of them. Sure, many are paid handsomely, however if you happen to’re not a coveted star QB, you’re simply expendable regardless of how a lot expertise you possess or what number of touchdowns you’ve scored. For those who blow out a knee, it’s all the time “subsequent man up.” There was a saying that you simply couldn’t lose your job as a result of damage.

That’s one of many greatest lies ever advised in soccer. Guys lose their beginning spots often as a result of they received damage, and the substitute got here in and performed effectively above their pay grade. In what’s grow to be probably the most notorious case of this, Tom Brady changed Drew Bledsoe for the Patriots in 2001, and the remainder is historical past. Kurt Warner additionally started a run for the St. Louis Rams that landed him within the Corridor of Fame after relieving Trent Inexperienced, who’d been injured in a preseason recreation.

So, it’s not uncommon that gamers get damage and by no means get their jobs again. If it occurs to soccer gamers on the most coveted place, then everybody else is greater than truthful recreation. We’ve recognized how awful turf fields are and the way a lot gamers hated them for many years. The faux surfaces as we speak are a little bit higher than within the Nineteen Nineties, however we nonetheless hear complaints about how counterintuitive it’s to be taking part in on turf realizing the dangers.

Most gamers in all probability smirk after they see these campaigns the NFL runs about making the sport safer. And to the league’s credit score, they’ve made modifications to do exactly that. However it shouldn’t take litigation for them to care. That appears to be the one factor that will get the ball rolling for them to concentrate. The NFL had data on concussions for years earlier than they had been compelled to publicly acknowledge this as an actual risk to the sport.

No one would argue that knees, ankles, and ft accidents are as extreme as repeated blows to the pinnacle. However if you happen to declare your gamers’ well being is a high precedence, why not go the additional mile to make sure they’ll play so long as doable? Synthetic turf has been a nuisance to athletes for years, and the NFL ought to attempt listening to its most dear asset typically as an alternative of regularly wanting within the different route. That’s, till it lands them in court docket.

We’re continuously bombarded with information about how a lot these organizations are price and the way a lot cash the league brings in, that are billions annually. Spending extra cash to assist reduce down on some accidents as a result of horrible taking part in surfaces received’t ship the NFL and its homeowners to the poor home anytime quickly.



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