SBD/January 30, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Player Safety A Hot Topic At Super Bowl Media Day; Pollard Stands By Comments

Goldson (l) and Whitner (r) don't believe the NFL needs to make big hits illegal
Reaction at yesterday's Super Bowl Media Day to recent comments by Ravens S Bernard Pollard and President Obama about head injuries in football included "some agreeing with Pollard that recent rules changes would change the sport to such an extent that it would be less entertaining and lead to a loss of popularity," according to Benjamin Hoffman of the N.Y. TIMES. 49ers FS Dashon Goldson and SS Donte Whitner said that they "thought the key was not removing big hits, but making sure the hits that are delivered are legal." Former NFLer Warren Sapp was "one of the few people to disagree entirely with Pollard's view." He said that a "desire for points would always result in defenses being limited." Pollard yesterday said that while he was "comfortable with the physical risk he was taking by playing football, he was not sure he would want future generations, including his 4-year-old son, to follow his example." Pollard: "God has blessed me with a tremendous talent to be able to play this game. But we want our kids to have better things than us." Ravens QB Joe Flacco said, "I play the game and I understand that I’m going to get hit" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/30). In N.Y., Greg Bishop notes Ravens C Matt Birk spent much of Media Day "talking about head injuries and brain donations and President Obama’s recent comments." Birk "talked about how he has worked with companies to help develop a device that measures the impact of collisions." He said that the device "would provide instant feedback on the impact of hits that are not as evident as a broken bone or a twisted knee." While Birk said that he would "donate his brain for research, he also said he would let his children play football" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/30).

CALLED OFF: Former NFLer Kyle Turley said that LSU officials have "put the kibosh" on an event scheduled for tomorrow to highlight brain problems among former players. In New Orleans, John Simerman notes the event "was sponsored by the LSU Medical Student Association and a group called Ethikos." The school is "refusing to comment on the cancellation" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/30).
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