Has the NFL gone soft? Some people, especially people who grew up watching the game back in the 1970s, 1980s, and even 1990s, will say yes. The incredibly hard hits that used to be a part of the game have all but disappeared due to concerns over concussions. Others will tell you that the NFL had to become at least a little bit softer because of all the aforementioned head injuries that players have suffered over the years. But Donald Trump says: “Concussions? Who cares about concussions?!”
OK, maybe he didn’t use those exact words, but during a rally in Reno, Nev. on Sunday, Trump told about 2,000 people in attendance that he thinks the NFL has gotten incredibly soft. He didn’t cite any specific examples, but he did mention that he was watching an NFL playoff game on Saturday that included at least one or two questionable personal foul penalties on hard hits. And he said that he believes it’s a sign of how soft the NFL is today.
“So I’m watching a game yesterday,” he said. “What used to be considered a great tackle, a violent head-on [tackle], a violent—if that was done by Dick Butkus, they’d say he’s the greatest player. If that were done by Lawrence Taylor—it was done by Lawrence Taylor and Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke, right? Ray Nitschke, you used to see these tackles and it was incredible to watch, right? Now they tackle: ‘Oh, head-on collision, 15 yards.’ The whole game is all screwed up. You say, ‘Wow, what a tackle.’ Bing. Flag. Football has become soft. Football has become soft. Now, I’ll be criticized for that. They’ll say, ‘Oh, isn’t that terrible?’ But football has become soft like our country has become soft.”
Trump went on to say that the NFL's referees are to blame for some of the softness of the league.
“The referees, they want to all throw flags so their wives see them at home,” he said. “‘Oh, there’s my husband.’ It’s true. ‘He just broke up—he just gave a 15-yard penalty on one of the most beautiful tackles made this year.’ Right?”
And Trump ended his rant by saying that he finds the NFL as a whole “boring.” Well, except for Tom Brady, of course.
“I love Tom Brady,” he said. “I gotta tell you. I do love Tom. He’s a great guy. But it’s different. But it’s become soft and our country has become soft.”
You can check out all of Trump's anti-NFL thoughts in the clip above.
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[via Washington Post]