Ed Reed: If you want to stop concussions, stop football in general
The NFL has decided to overturn the one-game suspension it gave Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed earlier this week for his hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. However, the league is still fining Reed $50,000 for the play, and that’s something he is not happy about.
“It really needs to be discussed for a fine to come down like that so harshly for that hit,” Reed said according to ESPN.com. “Over my career and for them to go back to 2010 for me scratching Drew Brees on the head, even the one that happened in Week 2 with Michael Vick, c’mon, man. I’m going for the ball. It’s a contact sport.”
Reed has been called a head-hunter, which is obviously a categorization he takes offense to. Like James Harrison of the Steelers, he is one of the hardest hitters in the game and a player who has been disciplined by the league multiple times. His hit on Sanders was his third violation in three seasons of the rule prohibiting helmet-to-helmet contact on a defenseless receiver.
“It is tackle football,” he continued. “It is a contact sport and a brutal one, a violent one at that, the No. 1 violent sport, sad to say.
“I know concussions has been a big thing. I’ve had concussions before, and I know guys are going to have concussions. If you want to stop it, stop the game. Like people say, it’s starting to be a flag football thing. I have a flag football tournament. We can make this a big thing if we want to, everybody can come get in my league.”
By now every player in the NFL should realize that the league’s stance on vicious hits and helmet-to-helmet shots is not flexible — no matter how many complaints there are. It was recently revealed that the NFL has paid more than $2 million in disability settlements to former players who suffered permanent brain damage as a result of playing. The league will to anything it can to prevent similar situations from arising in the future, even if it means making examples of the game’s biggest stars.