By Kristen Swift @kswift_RN
Panthers 20 Broncos 21
The Carolina Panthers lost a football game they could have won after Kicker Graham Gano missed a 50-yard field goal attempt, wide left. Losing again to the Denver Broncos hurts, but losing would be palatable if not at the expense of Quarterback Cameron Newton’s safety.
Probably the most glaring issue Thursday night was the complete disregard for player safety and until the NFL takes action that actually supports their stance on player safety, it’s all just psittacism.
It isn’t just the officials who hold blame here. The NFL managed to prove Thursday that they are quite capable of systematically failing the players and their safety. Officials, independent concussion spotters in the booth, independent neurotrauma consultants standing on the sidelines with each team; none of the pieces put in place by the NFL to protect their players actually protected them.
Cam Newton said he was asked some not too serious questions and in the same post-game press conference, he couldn’t even recall the questions he was asked. Amnesia is a serious indicator of a concussion.
The opening night for the National Football League did nothing to conciliate players or fans that concussion protocols, helmet-to-helmet hits, and head injuries will be taken seriously. Instead of feeling excited about the upcoming season after last night’s game, many people were left angered by the blatant lack of player protection.
There needs to be some serious discussions starting from the top if we are entering a season that sees intentional grounding and egregious personal fouls on the same level. It isn’t safe. It isn’t humane.
Hopefully, Roger Goodell has a headache from the backlash this morning, though I’m sure it won’t be anywhere as bad as Cam Newton’s.
Featured image of Cam Newton courtesy: nydailynews.com
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