Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is the latest NFL figure to chime in on the player safety debate. Based on previous such comments, his sentiments lie somewhere between former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer and current Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora. White took to Twitter to address the issue.
“It’s crazy how football players are killing our game you signed up to play a violent game and made a lot of money now you talk bad about #how,” White tweeted first.
When a follower asked White, “Would you ever trade your job for anything else?”, White responded with this: “No I love playing football if I cant walk when im 50 it was well worth it.”
Kurt Warner, criticized by former players for saying he prefers his sons not play football, issued a lengthy response saying he is disappointed “we can no longer respect others opinions.”
Warner, a two-time NFL MVP, faced a sharp backlash last week from ESPN’s Merril Hoge and former New York Giants receiver Amani Toomer, which we posted on May 4th HERE, for questioning the safety of playing the game.
Hoge said Warner was irresponsible and “sounded extremely uneducated.” Toomer claimed Warner was disingenuous considering his role as an NFL Network analyst and should “keep his opinions to himself.”
Warner has made his point; now he’s asking for a civil conversation about the dangers of violence in the NFL with fewer individual attacks are needed.
In comments posted on his website, Warner said:
” … I love this game and all the things that it taught me and afforded me along the way, but regardless of all that I have a responsibility to my kids. I cannot be oblivious to the risks of the game of football simply because it was good to me. So as my kids continue to play I worry about them every time they get hit, just as my wife worried about me every time I got hit in my 12 years in the league.
“Now, I don’t want to scare anyone about this great game and I will continue to support all of the adjustments being made by the NFL (& other levels) to increase player safety in hopes that the game of football has a long and healthy run as the world’s greatest team sport. But, we must proceed with caution and be informed of how to handle these situations if we ever find ourselves in them (as Mr. Hoge so eloquently stated).”
Warner questioned why Hoge and Toomer considered his comments throwing the game under the bus.
“I don’t know why it is so hard for people to understand how I can BOTH love the game and be grateful for what it did for me and at the same time have concern for my kids in regards to playing it. Why does it have to be one or the other?” Warner wrote.
A rash of concussions, recent suicides of former NFL players and the BountyGate scandal have Kurt Warner hoping his sons never again play the sport.
But Warner’s opinion is “a little disingenuous,” according to former New York Giants receiver Amani Toomer, who accused Warner of trying to “trash the game.
“What this reminds me of is the guy at the basketball court, who once he gets done playing takes the ball and ruins the game for everybody else,” Toomer said. “I think Kurt Warner needs to keep his opinions to himself when it comes to this. Everything that he’s gotten in his life has come from playing football. He works at the NFL Network right now. For him to try and trash the game, it seems to me that it’s just a little disingenuous to me.”
Warner, the former St. Louis Rams, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals quarterback, didn’t appear to be trashing the sport when he made his comments earlier Thursday on “The Dan Patrick Show.”He was speaking as a father of sons who love football, and said the idea of them playing an increasingly dangerous sport “scares me.” Asked point blank if he’d prefer they not play the sport, Warner said “Yes, I would.”
“They both have the dream, like dad, to play in the NFL,” Warner said. “That’s their goal. And when you hear things like the bounties, when you know certain things having played the game, and then obviously when you understand the size, the speed, the violence of the game and then you couple that with situations like Junior Seau. Was that a ramification of all the years playing?
“It scares me as a dad. I just wonder. I wonder what the league’s going to be like. I love that the commissioner is doing a lot of things to try to clean up the game from that standpoint and improve player safety, which helps, in my mind, a lot. But it’s a scary thing for me.”
Warner didn’t appear to take Toomer’s criticism personally, though. Via Twitter, Warner later sent a message to Toomer saying “Sorry that u disagree w/ me old friend! But I will always worry about my kids well being . . . Doesn’t affect my love 4 game!”
Through time I’ve given NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell the nickname “Godfather” for how he runs the league but one former player has gone and compared him to Nazi Germany police the Gestapo. Goodell has been receiving plenty of criticism from NFL players and former players, but ex-New York Giant Amani Toomer took it to a new level.
“I think the way Mr. Goodell has handled this, the way he’s kind of using his power, is like the kind of a Gestapo-type situation, controlling the players, not letting the judicial system do its work,” he said.
On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark ripped Goodell for the 2011 NFL schedule release, claiming that it was a PR stunt.
“Instead of saying, ‘You know what, guys, we’re gonna hold the schedule off until we can figure out this situation until we can make sure that the fans have football this year,’ no: ‘We’re gonna put the schedule out and find another way to put my face on TV,’” Clark explained.
He also compared Goodell to former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, claiming that the players saw him as a real man.
“Paul Tagliabue was a guy who’s gonna get people in the room [who] can make decisions,” he said. “Whereas throughout these negotiations, Goodell has to leave for hours to make conference calls and call people who can make decisions.”
Earlier in April, Baltimore Ravens receiver Derrick Mason called Goodell “a joke,” saying that he needs to “stop crying about blood tests and HGH” and work on getting a new labor deal done.