Murphy Says Player Safety is Really About Popularity
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve heard Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy talk about player safety being the biggest issue facing the league. That means concussions.
The NFL has gone to increasing lengths in recent years to prevent concussions, largely through rule changes designed to increase player safety. That will happen when you get caught denying that your sport has long-term health effects when you know otherwise. The NFL paid for that misstep in the form of a class-action lawsuit brought by former players.
Since then, the league has been actively ringing the bell for player safety. Murphy has been at the forefront of that charge, talking about player safety whenever he can.
This is really all about popularity, though. And that means it’s really just about money.
Murphy said as much on Tuesday.
“One of the things we talk about in the NFL is we do not want the NFL to go the way of boxing,” Murphy said at the Milwaukee Business Journal Business of Sports event. “When you think of boxing in the ’50s and the ’60s, it was one of the most popular sports in the country. And now it’s a niche.”
He went on…
“Although the NFL is very popular now, we need to make sure that we take the proper steps to make sure that it continues to remain popular,” Murphy said.
Although player safety is cited as the overriding concern here, it’s everything that’s associated with that that the NFL is really concerned about.
It’s really a simple formula.
Unsafe conditions = fewer people playing the game = fewer people interested in the game = fewer fans = less revenue = pissed off owners.
Are NFL executives and owners really concerned about the safety of their players?
They’ll tell you they are, but they’re not.
They’re concerned about the safety of their product.
How do we continue this astronomical growth? By making the game accessible to the most people possible.