On Safety

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Even a game deserves to be safe

October 11, 2012

An NFL lineman recently reminded fans that although football is just a game, it can carry serious consequences for players.

In the Oct. 7 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel left the game with a concussion. The hometown Chiefs fans cheered at the exit of Cassel, who has struggled this season with a subpar performance. During a postgame interview, Chiefs lineman Eric Winston called the cheers for his teammate’s injury “sickening.”

“We are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Colosseum.”

Winston noted that as a professional football player, his efforts to entertain fans put his health on the line and he likely won’t live as long as the average person. Sadly, he’s probably right.

The NFL has made efforts to improve safety, but whether those efforts are good enough remains unknown. However, such steps to improve safety shouldn’t begin and end with the league itself – fans have a role. Instead of cheering for injuries, fans should demand safety for the hundreds of athletes who entertain us every week.

The opinions expressed in "Washington Wire" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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