The NFL season is difficult enough for teams and players to navigate through healthy. The game by nature is one where collateral damage in the form of physical injury is unavoidable and collectively accepted. Unless, the injuries are caused by design....
The bounty system that has followed veteran coach Gregg Williams across his NFL career may have been an acceptable practice in decades past, but in the modern day NFL, where player safety and sportsmanship are at the forefront of Commissioner Roger Goodell's agenda, it is completely intolerable.
The league has learned from the lawsuits brought by the legions of alumni who are suffering the effects from game-related injuries and concussions that they need to do more to protect players. Bounties are a severe violation of league rules and can only open the league to further lawsuits.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin appeared on Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski's SiriusXM radio show today and discussed the dangers and downstream effects of the bounty system....
“It’s very, very serious this whole business of the bounty system, and players being paid to try to inflict injury on others really has nothing to do with our game. Even though we talk about it, you can go back to Coach Lombardi, with the idea that what’s really important is the ability of one-on-one, for one player to whip the other player.
We all know that it is a very, very tough, very physical, very, very demanding game but to have the game at its highest level it’s this kind of great competitive effort and physical play that is the very top of the talent level of the game is what the game is all about.
It’s not about trying to inflict purposeful injury on another player. It has no point in this game. It’s a physically demanding game no matter how you look at it. Injuries do appear, do occur, but to put it in that context of trying purposely to eliminate other great players.
That’s what this game has been founded on, is the tremendous talent of the players that participate at this level and particularly, if you just wanted to isolate it, the quarterback position. Our game wouldn’t be anywhere near as popular if these fantastic athletes playing these positions weren’t able to perform at the highest level.
We all talk about the physical nature of the game and toughness and the fact that you have to be the tougher team and you have to exemplify that with the way that you play. And we all know that it’s a gladiator sport and that’s part of the popularity of it but to take it to an extreme, like has been discussed here with this bounty system, has no place in the game.”