Another damning quote about the sport of football just hit the airwaves -- and this time the words were uttered by one of the NFL’s own.
Asked whether standout wide receiver Sammy Watkins is too "injury prone," Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley suggested Tuesday morning that the problem doesn’t lie with the 22-year-old, but with the sport itself.
"It's the game of football. Injuries are part of it," Whaley said on WGR 550 radio. "It's a violent game that I personally don't think humans are supposed to play. "
Per Adam Schefter, Watkins is slated to skip the Bills’ training camp and subsequent preseason games as he continues to recover from an offseason foot surgery. The wide receiver was also hampered by a nagging calf injury last fall, hence worries over his body’s durability.
Whaley is just the latest notable name to express concern over the dangers of the gridiron. A number of past and present players wrote or spoke of their distress surrounding the release of the 2015 blockbuster film “Concussion.” Promising young players are retiring left and right, citing worries over chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease linked with repetitive head trauma such as that found on the football field. And evermore damning research -- including a 2015 study that discovered CTE in the brains of 87 of 91 deceased NFL players -- has led even the NFL to admit the connection between such long term health consequences and the sport it’s selling.
There’s little question at this point that the “violen[ce]” we see in stadiums every Sunday is detrimental to these players’ lives. But maybe, just maybe, if more of the league’s bigwigs join Whaley in publicly expressing their honest opinions of the game, the NFL will be forced, finally, to do something to diminish the danger of every down. If that's even possible.