A lot of the criticism surrounding the NFL of late has to do with the overly aggressive and violent nature of the game. But at least one player is more concerned that the game is becoming too soft.
After dropping a heartbreaking loss to the rival Steelers on Sunday night, Ravens safety Ed Reed took a shot at commissioner Roger Goodell and the league for the way they’re handling punishments for defensive players.
Reed was suspended for a variety of hard hits just two weeks ago, but the decision was eventually overturned and reduced to a fine. But even with the reduced penalty, Reed feels the league’s new guidelines are affecting the way he’s used to playing the game, according to ESPN.
“It sucks, man,” Reed said. “It sucks really bad. It affects me, man. I thought about it coming into this game, ’cause obviously it happened the last time we played.”
Reed is so upset by the new procedures that he even went as far as to compare the NFL to “powder puff” football, pointing to Goodell’s desire for increased popularity as the culprit.
“It’s definitely changing the game,” Reed said. “It’s become an offensive league. They want more points. They want the physical play out of it, kind of. They want like powder puff to where you can just run around and score points ’cause that’s going to attract the fans. I understand you want to make money, but bending the rules and making the game different, you know, it’s only going to make the game worse.”
The new rules are intended to promote safer play across the league, especially with so much pressure coming down from the NFL Players Association and a number of growing lawsuits. But Reed looks at the Thursday night schedule as a more important issue in terms of player safety, referencing the Ravens playing three games in 17 days earlier this season as a prime example.
“It’s definitely hurting the game, but they don’t care so much about it ’cause they’re going to continue to make their money,” Reed continued. “If they was really so concerned about the violence and the injuries and players getting hurt, answer this question for me: Why is there Thursday night football? We played three games in 17 days [earlier this season]? Why?”
There are definitely changes that still need to be made to continue making the NFL a safer place for its players. But Reed might want to consider at least taking them into consideration, as it would likely benefit both his future and his wallet.
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