American football can be a rough game, although one does wonder whether the boffins on the rugby field are built tougher since they do not have any kind of helmets nor fancy padding for protection while running into each other and making precocious tackles. Still, there is a certain degree of danger in any sport, and the risk of concussions is very real in the NFL. This is why players are always on the lookout for additional protection, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has revealed that the NFL will be pledging $100 million to the player safety cause.
This particular announcement could not have arrived at a better time, taking into consideration how fears concerning concussions have long been an issue in American football. In a letter that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote, it announced that there is a new initiative that has been kickstarted on the program’s website, being known as "Play Safe, Play Smart". Of course, word on the $100 million is also reassuring from any angle.
The $100 million pledged would be derived from the NFL itself and its 32 club owners. This money will be used to support independent medical research as well as work on engineering advancements. According to Goodell, the Play Safe, Play Smart initiative is meant to "drive progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of head injuries, enhance medical protocols and further improve the way the game is taught and played by all who love it."
Such an effort shows that the league has the will and intention to progress in such an area, without dismissing the fact that some folks out there might cast a raised eyebrow at such an announcement, figuring out that the league's motives are not pure in the first place. Goodell continued, "We know there is skepticism about our work in this area. That's why both the process and the results of our work will be shared with the medical community and the public at large."
The "Play Safe, Play Smart" program will comprise of four pillars. These four pillars will be to protect players, develop advanced technology, advance in medical research and to share its progress. In addition, the league might see some rules change in the future, since they will be carrying out a closer scrutiny on the aspects of the rules which might be altered so that the game is safer for the players.