Steelers safety Troy Polamalu created a stir this week when he said the NFL is turning into a "pansy game" by fining players for hard hits. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shot back, saying his only interest is in protecting players from injuries. But one player who knows something about NFL injuries says Goodell is full of it:
That was Mark Schlereth, a former NFL offensive lineman who had about two dozen knee surgeries and is now an ESPN analyst, explaining that the league isn't quite as concerned about player safety as it likes to let on.
"I absolutely agree with Troy Polamalu," Schlereth said. "I think it is 100% hypocritical of the National Football League. I think it's ridiculous. I don't think the National Football League truly has the interests of the players at heart here. They have the interests of that insignia, that NFL logo. That's what they're worried about. They're not truly worried about the health of these players. Because you know what? Once you're retired and once you go away -- like me -- they don't care anymore."
Schlereth points out that the NFL sells videos that celebrate hard hits. Perhaps the NFL could devote the proceeds from those videos to help defray the healthcare costs of retired players.