As a biased Broncos fan, I’ve always loved Mark Schlereth, and love his contributions on ESPN. However today he took it to a completely different level today, addressing the recent crackdown by the NFL against players who are violently hitting: a complex issue, no doubt, but Schlereth makes some excellent arguments. This video is definitely worth watching.
Mark’s right, the NFL is being very hypocritical, sitting on Mt. Pius and leveling hefty fines against players and now threatening suspension. It was surprising to me that Schlereth has more an issue with the fines than he does with the suspensions, especially considering that NFL player fines are donated to charity. Also, when a player is suspended, do they not receive a game check for that week – so you’re they’re still getting money taken away from them. I wish Schlereth would clarify that point. I also think that there’s some built up reprehension in his statement for the mistreatment of retired players suffering health conditions (and rightfully so).
I’m pretty much lock-step with Mark here, but the only issue I take is that he’s rallying behind James Harrison. Please Mark, rally behind anyone but Harrison, who called his incoming fines “travesties” and then went on to say that he’s out to hurt players. He goes on to explain the different between “hurt” and “injured”, except he said this right after two players he tried to “hurt” could no longer play because they’re “injured” – Harrison has a pretty crappy sense of timing and when to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. And to cap all of this, Harrison is now threatening to take his ball and go home, not exactly the most mature way to participate in this debate. It’s not like this is a momentary lapse in judgment for Harrison, as two years ago he justified bailing on the Super Bowl White House trip because Obama’s not a Steelers fan. Politics aside, if you won the championship in your sport, you go meet the President – that’s just the way it is.
This is shaping up to be a very interesting week, with many more NFL legends weighing in the current state of professional football. Remember this was all started by Rodney Harrison calling the kettle “black” on Sunday Night Football. Stay tuned.