NFL Concussions Update: Richard Sherman Says Players Ignoring Safety Protocol [VIDEO]
The NFL has been beating its chest about how its game is safer now that it implemented changes in tackling techniques and targeting points.
Except that the players haven't been listening.
That's what Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said during his weekly news conference, according to Huffington Post.
During the conference, Sherman responded to a question about how much discussion exists among the Seattle players about concussions and whether knowledge of "safer" ways to tackle has influenced their play.
"I think while you're in this game -- while you're in the NFL -- you can't think about things like that," Sherman said. "Because it changes the way you play the game. It changes the way you approach it. That's why guys are retiring left and right because they know if you stop playing this game at 100 percent, full-speed, all out -- that's it. That's it. You've lost that step and you're putting yourself in danger. And you're putting your body in danger -- even more so than it already is."
There's a simple reason the players aren't listening to the new NFL protocols.
"You don't want to lose that step. You can't stop playing at 100 percent, full-speed, all out," Sherman said. By thinking about these issues -- by focusing on the 'safe' way to tackle -- you're putting yourself in 'more danger.'"
Of course, Sherman's comments represent only one voice, but it's a powerful one that is contradicting the NFL's rhetoric on safety the past few years.
"By any measure, football has never been safer and we continue to make progress with rule changes, safer tackling techniques at all levels of football, and better equipment, protocols and medical care for players." Jeff Miller, the NFL senior vice president of health and safety policy, wrote in a statement last March, Huffington Post reported.
"Concussions in NFL games were down 25 percent last year, continuing a three-year downward trend. We continue to make significant investments in independent research to advance the science and understanding of these issues. We are seeing a growing culture of safety."