The game of football is never going to be safe. It’s a violent sport in which players crash into one another at high speeds, often impacting their heads in the process. However, retired NFL quarterback Michael Vick believes the NFL is doing what it can to limit brain trauma and is doing “a great job in terms of player safety” overall.
Vick expressed this sentiment appearing on Mike & Mike Wednesday morning.
“I think the National Football League has done a great job in terms of player safety and wanting to make sure the concussion protocol was A-1. And I think they’ve done a great job of that. You can barely finish a game if you show any symptoms or any signs of concussions,” Vick said (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk).
These comments echo what New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said recently that the game has never been safer.
They somewhat clash with what Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis said just days ago, that he feels taken advantage of by the NFL in terms of being informed about the dangers of concussions. Though, it’s worth pointing out that Bettis played in a different era and the league has done much since he retired to inform players and protect them from playing while concussed.
At this point, it’s up to players, just as much as their team doctors and the league, to admit when they are exhibiting symptoms of being concussed. We’ve heard many players admit they played through concussions, and we’ve even seen this played out on the field at times in the past couple of seasons.
Has the NFL always done a great job in terms of player safety? Hardly. Is it now doing more than ever to keep players safe? Sure. Can more be done to protect players? Absolutely. Let’s hope the league continues to push for better safety measures in the years to come. One big step would be to discourage opioid drugs and allow players to use cannabis to treat their injuries and help them recovery.