At first I thought it was a joke. But it must be true, in which case the NFL commissioner just played a cruel joke on all NFL players.
Danny Trevathan appealed his two-game suspension for his hit on the Packers’ Davante Adams, and the NFL promptly reduced it to a single game. Trevathan argued that he was already in motion and he couldn’t stop himself – though replays show that’s a lie. Oh, and he regrets it.
To Joseph Bonham’s critique, I would add that the play happened right in the middle of the field, with the ball in Adams’ hands, so every field official had to see what transpired. Besides, the internet is full of replays of the hit, so now all NFL fans know that the league isn’t serious about enforcing, discouraging, or preventing serious head injuries to its players.
Earlier, I proposed that these referees be suspended for a number of games – and a bunch of further steps.
I also urged that all NFL referees undergo a remedial training program involving film study of past hits that have caused serious injuries, that doctors should lecture refs on the ramifications of such injuries, that they be made to listen to the stories of former NFL victims of hits to the head, and that they visit care centers that house patients who are paralyzed or brain-damaged patients.
I now see that my ideas were short-sighted. The guy who needs this training and education, more than anyone else, is Roger Stokoe Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL. He’s the one person who could quickly do something to remove this danger from the sport. When the next NFL player is disabled due to a helmet-to-helmet hit, he’s also the one person who all sports fans should hold personally accountable.
I think “Stokoe” is Swahili for asshat.