The NFL is still hoping to some day have a franchise in London. If that wasn’t the goal, the league would not be so committed to holding games in England on an annual basis. This season, two games will be played overseas. And Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth is not happy about it.
When discussing the possibility of a permanent NFL team in London, Whitworth made it clear that he would never agree to be a part of something like that.
“I would hope that I was financially able to quit,” he told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday. “That’s what I would hope because if I was my papers would be the first one in.”
Fortunately, at least one NFL owner doesn’t see it ever happening. Whitworth, who also happens to be the NFLPA team representative for the Bengals, said there are a lot of players who feel the same way he does.
“I don’t see that a lot of guys would want to do that,” he said. “I don’t see any players that would enjoy that. Sure, you may find a handful of guys that say, ‘Oh hey, that’d be cool,’ but the rest of them wouldn’t.”
While Whitworth is the first player to offer such a forward take on the subject, I’m sure a ton of players would agree. Relocating from one city in the US when you have a family and network of friends can be difficult enough, let alone moving to an entirely new country. However, the 31-year old took it a step further, even saying that he would hate playing one game in London.
“I would hate it, but it is what it is,” Whitworth said. “But, one time it’s not fun but you got to do what you got to do. But I wouldn’t enjoy that, either.”
Traveling to Europe for a game in the middle of a season certainly isn’t ideal, but plenty of coaches and players have already had to do it. The Bengals have been fortunate enough that they have not been selected yet, but their day could come. Hopefully Whitworth cooperates and decides to board the plane if that day ever arrives.
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