NFL to Fine or Suspend Stadium Turf for Recklessly Causing Toe Injuries
November 16, 2010
(New York, NY) – The National Football League season is just past the mid-way, and the games have been as exciting as ever. The last two weeks have seen more overtime games than in recent memory, and team’s are putting up points like never before.
Still, the game is not without its issues. A spate of injuries, most notably concussions, has ravaged the league, and left the Commissioner’s Office to issue a mandate: defensive players who target defenseless receivers with unnecessarily dangerous hits will be subject to unprecedented fines and even suspensions.
The directive, though controversial, has arguably been a success. Major injuries, including concussions, are down. In fact, the directive has been so successful that the Commissioner’s Office has another.
“Our league prides itself on both excitement and fan enjoyment,” Roger Goodell read from a prepared statement. “But we must also pride ourselves in how we take care of the players on the field. That’s why, effective with the Week 11 games, the league will be fining or suspending any stadium turf responsible for recklessly causing toe injuries, including but not limited to turf toe.”
Reaction from around the country, and particularly in the media, has been predictably negative.
“How can we expect stadium turf to function in the way that is necessary for a football game if it’s constantly faced with the threat of fines or suspension,” Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan asked. “Half of the stadiums with turf aren’t more than a couple decades old, and aren’t making a huge salary. Can they really be expected to pay these kind of fines?”
Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions, may have been the most upset at the news, after its play contributed to twin turf toe injuries for Lions rookie running back Jahvid Best.
“No stadium turf is looking to injure players,” Ford Field said. “But when I’m out there, I do want to hurt players. When a running back is breaking free across the 50 [yard line], you better believe I’m going to rear up and try to explode a bursa sac.”
“Frankly, I’m going to have to think long and hard about suiting up again this season.”