NFL Insists It Can Make Player Safety a Priority, while Retaining Its Aggressive Charm
The NFL has released a nine-minute video that was “recently prepared for NFL players and coaches by the Player Safety Advisory Panel.”
Called “Championship Football,” the video is narrated by Pro Football Hall of Famer and co-chairman of the panel, Ronnie Lott.
It attempts to remind everyone that even with the increased emphasis on safety, the game retains its allure as a “physical” sport. Specifically, it “focuses on examples of clean, legal hits from last season’s AFC and NFC Championship Games and Super Bowl XLVI,” according to the league.
The NFL said Lott also issued a memo to the players, where he noted:
“When members of our panel are watching football games, we are constantly aware of improvements that can be made for the benefit of players. It was striking to us that last year’s AFC and NFC Championship Games and the Super Bowl, though quite physical and aggressive, were free from unnecessary penalties. Our panel believes that this demonstrates that it is possible to play championship football while observing the rules of the game and not engaging in acts that sometimes lead to altercations, penalties and fines – or worse, injuries.”
The panel, co-chaired by Lott and fellow Hall of Famer John Madden, was created two years ago by Commissioner Goodell “to assist the league in reviewing all facets of the game involving player health and safety.” Other members of the committee are Ernie Accorsi, Antonio Freeman, Patrick Kerney, Willie Lanier, Oliver Luck, Steve Mariucci, and Anthony Munoz.
Here’s a link to the video: