Hard-hitting Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard thinks an NFL player will die on the field of play.
Pollard said though he hopes he is wrong, he believes “one day there’s going to be a death that takes place on the field because of the direction we’re going.”
Pollard also said he believes the NFL will cease to exist in 30 years before acknowledging he hoped he was wrong.
“The league is trying to move in the right direction [with player safety], but, at the same time, [coaches] want bigger, stronger and faster year in and year out,” Pollard said. “And that means you’re going to keep getting big hits and concussions and blown-out knees. The only thing I’m waiting for … and, Lord, I hope it doesn’t happen … is a guy dying on the field. We’ve had everything else happen there except for a death. We understand what we signed up for, and it sucks.”
“Like I said, I pray it never happens, but you’ve got guys who are 350 pounds running 4.5 and 4.4s, and these owners and coaches want scout-run blockers and linemen to move walls. At the same time, they tell you, ‘Don’t hit here, and don’t hit there, or we’ll take your money.’ Like I said, I hope I’m wrong, but I just believe one day there’s going to be a death that takes place on the field because of the direction we’re going.”
Carson Palmer, when he was quarterbacking the Cincinnati Bengals, once told Sports Illustrated that the game is becoming so violent that a player is “going to die.”