Dunta Robinson, James Harrison, and Brandon Meriweather… What do these three players have in common? They all got made examples of, and are now the catalysts for the new culture of the National Football League. There have been many gruesome headshots taken by football players since the start of the year, and with the fear of concussions to any player, the NFL is doing something about it, led by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The NFL has declared that any hit which they deem “illegal” will result in a suspension for the offending for an indefinite number of games. The coaches will also be held responsible, depending on the severity of the hit and how long victim is injured for. Personally, I believe it’s about time the NFL came down hard on these types of hits, specifically the helmet-to-helmet shots. The NFL teams pay their players a ton of money to play every week to perform at the highest level, and the fans also pay a ton of money to see the best product available on the field. Athletes these days are bigger, stronger, and faster, and the equipment has also adapted and become more deadly for opponents. The NFL has to think about these player’s futures after football.
There are plenty of former players, notably Rodney Harrison—an ex-safety who had a reputation of being one of the hardest, yet dirtiest hitters—who are embracing the new rule. There was an uproar when the league increased protection for the quarterback, but people still watch the game and there are still highlight reel hits.
In the end, this writer is glad that the NFL took this approach. Hopefully current and future generations of players won’t suffer like the past ones have.