Texans running back Arian Foster seems to be new school, in many ways. But when it comes to football, Foster has an old-school mentality.
And Foster is willing to prove his acceptance of the risks by signing away his rights to sue the NFL in the future.
“Personally, absolutely, because I knew what I was getting into when I first had the dream of playing in the NFL,” Foster told Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco of ESPN Radio New York, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “I knew what I was getting into. The game’s a violent sport. Anything can happen. People get paralyzed; people get hurt — broken legs, broken everything. It’s just part of the game, and I knew what I was getting into. So to me, it’s kind of like blaming the NFL for your injuries, and I don’t blame the NFL because it was my decision to partake in this game. . . . So I would never sue. I don’t have ill feelings toward those that have sued or whatever. That’s their business. It’s just the way I see it. I just wouldn’t.”
Foster’s comments came in the context of the new rule regarding the use of the top of the helmet in the open field. But Foster doesn’t believe the new rule will affect him very much.
“That play doesn’t come into play a lot with my running style, but you have guys like Adrian Peterson, guys that really are hard runners and try to create that contact,” Foster said. “This is going to affect them more than it will myself. But I find myself sometimes lowering my head and lowering my shoulders. It’s just, you’re not gonna think about the rule changes. We’ve been running like this since we were kids. . . . They want us to change that mentality in one offseason, it’s gonna be tough. I was never a fan of all the defensive rule changes also — where you can’t lead with your helmet or the facemask — because guys have been tackling like this for years. I was never a fan of that, and I’m definitely not a fan of this.”
While many believe the ongoing rule changes arise from a desire to limit future liability to current players, no current player can claim that he doesn’t realize the risks or that any information about the risks was concealed from him. Then there’s the fact that the players are represented by a union, which has the ability to push for any necessary safety changes.
Still, Foster’s mindset reflects the attitude of most players who have signed up to play football — and it’s the same attitude most of the players now suing the league surely would have had during their playing careers.