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Goodell: NBA players wear more leg pads than NFL players

At Tuesday’s press conference held in connection with the quarterly ownership meetings, Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the decision to require players to wear knee and thigh pads as of 2013, subject to NFLPA approval.

Goodell claims that Nike, the league’s new apparel provider, has chimed in on the situation — a shocking development given that Nike manufactures and sells, you know, knee and thigh pads.

The technology has advanced,” Goodell said.  “In fact, the CEO of Nike recently told me when they introduced the new uniforms that NBA players were wearing more pads from the hips down than NFL players.  There is something wrong with that.  We need to put that protection in.  You can discuss all you want; but at some point, you have to reach a conclusion.”

Goodell also bases the league’s position on the trickle-down influence of the NFL.

“[T]he pads are far better than they were even a decade ago,” Goodell said.  “They’re more protective.  They allow better performance.  We also think it’s important.  Every other level of football requires these pads and the NFL doesn’t.  We think that’s part of sending the right signal to other levels of football.”

Some have suggested that the league also is motivated by a desire to undermine future concussion lawsuits by forcing players either to embrace the leg pads or face the argument that a bare knee to a helmet is more likely to cause a concussion than a padded knee.  We tend to think that this is more about ensuring player availability for practices and games by reducing the types of injuries that occur when a bare knee hits a bare thigh.

We also think that, to the extent Nike can persuade NFL players to wear beneath their game pants compression shorts with integrated padding and in turn entice kids throughout the country to want to wear the same thing, shareholders will be even more happy that they purchased Nike instead of Facebook.

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40 Responses to “Goodell: NBA players wear more leg pads than NFL players”
  1. geauxjay says: May 23, 2012 7:45 AM

    Goodell has spoken. And if they don’t listen, Sean Payton will be suspended for a second year.

  2. jagsfanugh says: May 23, 2012 7:47 AM

    What say you NFLPA?

  3. marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says: May 23, 2012 7:51 AM

    QB’s shouldn’t have to wear them. You can’t hit them anyway, and especially not in the legs.

  4. CKL says: May 23, 2012 7:54 AM

    Why would anyone actually purchase FB shares? There’s no “there” there.

  5. achamarro1 says: May 23, 2012 7:56 AM

    Ok. Basketball players jump in the air and there knees and thighs are moving at other players heads in full speed. That is why tbey wear them. And tbe whole thing about setting an example to youth football, that would make sense IF THEY DIDNT ALREADY REQUIRE THE PLAYERS WEAR THEM! Duh. The youth players are the ones setting the example!

  6. nokoolaidcowboy says: May 23, 2012 7:56 AM

    Suck it up and wear the pads. Some of these guys are the first ones to writhe around like they’ve been shot.

    In this instance the league is damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

  7. cardmagnet says: May 23, 2012 7:56 AM

    Goodell probably cries when he gets a paper cut behind his desk and has never played a game of big boy football in his life. This man has done more to kill the NFL than any of the players or teams he has laid sanctions against. Leg pads, for the most part, will just prevent bruises. If the athletes want to take a few bruises to keep their speed and dexterity to keep their game top notch and appealing to the fans, LET THEM.

  8. xsherr says: May 23, 2012 8:03 AM

    Drew Brees still needs more of an explanation.

  9. mybrunoblog says: May 23, 2012 8:08 AM

    I played 4 years of HS football and I have have kids who play youth tackle football. I can’t imagine letting my kids play without hip, thigh and knee pads.
    When you lower your shoulder for a tackle and catch a knee or a thigh your risk of head injury is certainly increased without pads down there.
    NFLPA is really so wrong on this one it is sad and laughable at the same time.
    Just put the pads on and shut up!

  10. 305hurricane says: May 23, 2012 8:17 AM

    NFL Administrative side becomes more and more like the Federal Government every day.

  11. chuxtah says: May 23, 2012 8:20 AM

    I do not like Goodell an inch but he’s got a point here. When I played wide out in highschool our coaches made use where them. It slowed us down and that’s why the players don’t where them obviously, but they can’t complain (sue) down the road.

  12. eaglesfootballfan says: May 23, 2012 8:24 AM

    Players don’t like to wear alot of padding/ protecting gear because some think it slows them down when they try to make a cut or try to make a defender miss.

  13. totallydisgusted says: May 23, 2012 8:31 AM

    I see no problem with this as long as it doesn’t hinder performance. Deep down I know we’re not getting the complete reason for the rule but its harmless enough

  14. xxwhodatxx says: May 23, 2012 8:39 AM

    Leave it alone if they wanna wear ’em they will and if not so what they are adults able to make a simple decision abt what’s best for them.

  15. saintsfan26 says: May 23, 2012 8:40 AM

    So now you can safely knee someone in the head and it wont hurt.

  16. bigperm33 says: May 23, 2012 8:45 AM

    this is the only question that really matters on this issue: are there actual cases of player injuries being tied directly to a failure to wear knee and thigh pads? if yes, then this rule should be a no-brainer. If no, this is just another case of the NFL trying to look like they care about player safety, when all the league cares about is PR.

  17. txxxchief says: May 23, 2012 8:47 AM

    …but the players concerned about the additional pads really wonder if they are absorbant enough.

  18. txxxchief says: May 23, 2012 8:50 AM

    …as in super-absorbent.

  19. purplegreenandgold says: May 23, 2012 8:51 AM

    “EMBRACE”…is that the new “IT” word of the NFL

  20. gards81 says: May 23, 2012 8:51 AM

    I’d worry more about protecting the brain…helmet technology

  21. descendency says: May 23, 2012 9:11 AM

    I think it will slow the game down slightly (what players are concerned about) and thus result in fewer concussions.

  22. thatstinks says: May 23, 2012 9:13 AM

    Meh… NBA players play on hard wood . NFL players play on soft grass .

  23. Max says: May 23, 2012 9:21 AM

    Same Story different day

    Current Players: Don’t want more regulations, but
    when these Current Players become Ex-Players, they all want to sue the NFL for lack of regulations.

    Players can’t have it both ways, the league has to protect itself from future lawsuits. So where the pads!

    I wore them in College and yes it was bulky and uncomfortable, but that was in 2000-03. The equipment today is so much lighter and those integrated compression shorts look very ergonomic.

    Wear the pads or sign some waiver that you wont sue the league in future.

  24. rayburns says: May 23, 2012 9:33 AM

    I’m $ure that the NFL ha$ nothing but the $afety of its player$ in mind when it come$ to creating thi$ new rule.

    Nike’$ role in thi$ i$ over$tated….

  25. commonsensedude says: May 23, 2012 9:35 AM

    By the time Roger Goodell is done “tinkering” with the NFL, all the guys will be wearing Maxi Pads. Play nice, boys.

  26. nflfollower says: May 23, 2012 9:41 AM

    NBA players play on a wood surface and intentionally launch themselves onto it many many times during the course of a game—it’s called “flopping”. Something foreign to 99% of football players. So yes, it’s understandable those sissies wear hip pads.

  27. lolb23 says: May 23, 2012 9:50 AM

    These pads won’t slow them down at all. The weigh far less than the bulky helmets and shoulder pads. C’mon now with that excuse.

  28. Water-brother says: May 23, 2012 9:51 AM

    Does anyone else see that by forcing these pads on players they are making a point about player safety. When the players complain and refuse to use them the NFL will be able to show that the players do not follow NFL guidelines about safety.

  29. Punk says: May 23, 2012 10:05 AM

    The only argument worth making is the trickle down argument. The league should focus solely on that. If a player complains that player is looked at as being a poor role model.

  30. bradentonbuc says: May 23, 2012 10:38 AM

    If they refuse to wear knee pads and a knee to the head of an opposing player causes a concusion, arrest him for battery. That will get there attention.

  31. mikemac1027 says: May 23, 2012 10:47 AM

    Great idea! Add more armor so they can hit each other harder without risk of injury

  32. ttomfor1 says: May 23, 2012 11:22 AM

    For anybody on here bashing Goodell on the fact he should keep his mind out of this since he’s never played the game, you need your head checked. I get frustrated at a lot of the stuff he does, however he is very intelligent and has been doing wonders financially for the game of football. His job is to make the NFL succeed which he is doing. Maybe we should put some of these knuckleheads who only know how to “play” the game and know not a thing about “managing” a business run the NFL. Mind you half these guys are broke 2 days after they retire and we want to say you need to have played the game to run this league… what a joke.

  33. dgforreal says: May 23, 2012 11:40 AM

    The players are the product. Nothing wrong with protecting your investments.

    The same fans that are against this pads will be bitter when one of their fantasy football players is out because of a thigh bruise.

  34. ilovefoolsball says: May 23, 2012 11:51 AM

    The dictator has spoken!

  35. truthplainandsimple says: May 23, 2012 11:58 AM

    Another thing about NBA players that isn’t being said besides playing on Hardwood is that well…basketball players can’t really take a lot of pain. That’s they play basketball and not football. A thigh bruise will keep a player out a good amount of games. In football, you’re EXPECTED to play through bruises and soreness.

  36. agcooney108 says: May 23, 2012 12:12 PM

    why don’t any of you posters or players for the fact notice that goodell just wants to make the game safer. if it wasn’t for goodell right now, the league would be shut down in the next ten years because of the injuries and possible deaths that could occur. players are only getting faster and stronger and technology for player’s safety is too. just wear the damn pads and suck it up.

  37. londonlion81 says: May 23, 2012 12:18 PM

    The Saints feel they’re being railroaded.

  38. theamishrifle says: May 23, 2012 12:32 PM

    It’s a different game. You get a lot more knees to the thigh (charlie horses) in basketball. You’re almost always trying to extend your body when hits occur, as opposed to trying to brace for a hit in football.

  39. vincentbojackson says: May 23, 2012 10:57 PM

    What’s the NBA anyway?

    Never heard of it.

  40. applecool1981 says: May 24, 2012 12:03 AM

    Max says: May 23, 2012 9:21 AM

    “Same Story different day

    Current Players: Don’t want more regulations, but
    when these Current Players become Ex-Players, they all want to sue the NFL for lack of regulations.

    Players can’t have it both ways, the league has to protect itself from future lawsuits. So where the pads!

    I wore them in College and yes it was bulky and uncomfortable, but that was in 2000-03. The equipment today is so much lighter and those integrated compression shorts look very ergonomic.

    Wear the pads or sign some waiver that you wont sue the league in future.”


    I like the wavier idea but what happens if a player injures someone with his unprotected knee?

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