July 21, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the press conference after the NFL owners

NFL Owners Pass Rule Change: All Players Must Wear Knee and Thigh Pads


The NFL owners have passed a new rule change subject to review by the NFL Players Association: All players will be required to wear knee and thigh pads starting in the 2013 season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

This move continues the string of PR moves by the NFL in the wake of the lawsuit by former players who claim the NFL knew of the risk of concussions many years ago and failed to properly notify the players.

In response to the lawsuit, the NFL has made numerous changes including eliminating two-a-day practices, shortening offseason practice dates and limiting full-pad practices.

With of these changes, the message is loud, clear and a little desperate: “See!? We care about player safety!”

It seems funny that the 92-year-old NFL is just deciding now that players should be required to wear pads to protect themselves, especially when the only argument against this change comes from the players saying it, “slows them down.”

An utterly ludicrous statement considering these guys regularly lift hundreds of pounds with relative ease while training. I’m sure a 5-ounce thigh pad would have prevented Adrian Peterson from breaking Jamal Lewis’s record for rushing yards in one game with 296.

Just stop.

That insignificant amount of weight won’t slow anyone down, but just in case, let’s offer every NFL player the option to use the old-style helmet that kickers used to sport.

What? No one? But it’s lighter!

I’m shocked.

It’s not about the weight, it’s about the look. No one wants that helmet because it makes you look like you should be riding the short bus, right Gary Anderson? Players want to look good for the fans, the cameras and the video games.

But don’t worry, NFL players. We’ll still love you even if you have bulkier legs.

It will be hard, but somehow, we will manage.

 

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