Robert Kraft says football is safer than ever

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Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis and Patriots owner Robert Kraft are both on a tour of Israel that included a visit to a neurotechnology company that wants to improve the ways doctors diagnose concussions. But they’re not necessarily on the same page.

Bettis said he thinks the NFL has taken advantage of players by not giving them the full information they’re entitled to about the risks of brain injuries. Kraft, however, said the NFL has taken great strides in improving player safety.

“I really think that may be overdone a little bit. I mean, I don’t think the game has ever been safer than it is now,” Kraft told the Associated Press.

That might be true: The NFL has changed in several ways — ranging from limiting contact practices in the offseason to mandating that players with concussions be removed from games to cracking down on helmet-to-helmet hits — that are intended to make football safer than it was in decades past.

Saying the game has never been safer, however, is not the same as saying the game is safe. There are still a lot of players suffering concussions, and still a lot of questions about how healthy those players’ brains will be when they’re Robert Kraft’s age.

41 responses to “Robert Kraft says football is safer than ever

  1. It’s a contact sport. It will never be completely safe. That’s why flag football exists. Boxing, MMA, Hockey are all not safe either. You can’t eliminate concussions unless you get rid of collisions all together. It won’t happen. It’s an inherent risk to the sport at some level.

  2. So there is enough information out now that concussions and repeated head trauma can have long term serious consequences. Players, current and future, have notice that they choose to participate in a profession with risk. Your choice. Don’t blame anyone else. And you are paid handsomely if you choose to take this path. You don’t hear police claiming they don’t know a bullet can kill or injure them or firefighters claiming they don’t know they risk their lives. Grow up and take responsibility for your choices.

  3. And it is time for owners to acknowledge they are engaged in a violent sport where players often get injured. It is the nature of the sport and the business where the average player has a short career, takes risks, and the data suggests a high number of them will suffer at least one major injury in their career. And they are paid well to take these risks. Let’s start facing these realities and move on.

  4. Pats fan here, but that’s the wrong thing to say. Just own the fact that it’s an inherently dangerous sport, and be committed to further safety improvements. Given the tragic outcomes of many NFL players, any talk from billionaire owners about the dangers of concussions, or how the league has looked the other way, being “overdone” or “overblown”–no matter the context–makes them look like a$$e$.

  5. That “might” be true? Well of courser it is. It comes at the expense of watering the game down and making it less tough.

  6. The game will never be “safe”, stop it. It is a contact sport and with contact comes injury. The players are well aware of the risks (now) they can choose to play or not play. If players decide NOT to play then you have a problem, short of that play ball..

  7. Professional football will never be safe and free of concussions. It’s like saying the Indy 500 will ever have 60mph laps. The only way pro football will be safe, is when the games are legislated to the point where they look like Pro Bowl games.

    And there will always be retired players with diminished mental capacity, just like workers in other professions pay a price later own. The only solution is to lower the number of concussions, and that’s quite possible.

  8. Probably true, but there are safer helmets ALREADY on the Market that the NFL does not use because the developers can’t pay the NFL a fee comparable to what they are now getting.

    If the NFL cared about safety it would:

    1. End Thursday and Saturday games UNLESS both teams are coming off a bye;
    2. Mandate use of the safest helmets on the market irrespective of fees paid; and
    3. Add another bye week in season.

  9. Well, they are both right. I think the NFL would willing hide all they can get away with regarding concussions. And as a football fan that has watched the NFL for more than 50 years, I do think the game is safer than if ever has been. That’s not saying it is safe – just safer.

  10. Football used to be a gladiator sport. We loved the contact, violence, and cheered those big hits. Now it’s not much more than watching a track meet. Who can run the fastest…who can throw the farthest…don’t you dare touch an offensive player during the play or it’s an automatic first down. It’s just not the same game anymore. I feel sad for a generation of fans who will never know what a real football game is now. It’s a bunch of officials litigating every single play to make sure no new rule has been broken, and the spirit of the game has been lost. The NFL should’ve just included injury waivers in the contracts long ago admitting the risk of the game. Players would’ve signed them and been richly rewarded still. If the UFC and professional boxing can exist with their level of violence, why has the NFL become so soft?

  11. Another fact: When BB and Brady retire, NE will not fall off the map like many jealous trolls wish so badly will happen.

    The core principles of how the Pats build teams, take the cap seriously, coach players, draft, etc, will all still be there or the new GM and coach will not be hired.

    Enjoy!

  12. midnightcusk says:
    Jun 20, 2017 8:18 AM
    Pats fan here, but that’s the wrong thing to say. Just own the fact that it’s an inherently dangerous sport, and be committed to further safety improvements. Given the tragic outcomes of many NFL players, any talk from billionaire owners about the dangers of concussions, or how the league has looked the other way, being “overdone” or “overblown”–no matter the context–makes them look like a$$e$.

    1 1
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    ————

    He didn’t say it was not dangerous, though. He’s saying it is safer now, which he’s correct.

    Bettis sucks and is a loser.

  13. tylawspick6 says:
    Jun 20, 2017 9:00 AM
    Fact: Pats never cheated. They were framed twice by a lying commissioner.
    ————————–
    No, nothing biased about that statement coming from a Pats homer.

  14. I love the Patriots and think Robert Kraft is a great owner, but he knows what happened to Ted Johnson on his watch. Of course, that was over 10 years ago, but Johnson and Bettis are not that far removed from a very dangerous game, which may not be as dangerous, but only marginally less.

  15. Now that he no longer employs A. Hernandez it is….

    Kraft was overheard saying this from his luxurious, full amenities owners skybox.

  16. If that is the comment from Kraft now, does that mean he stood on the side and did nothing when it was not “safer than ever”. I suspect he took the money all the same.

  17. Bettis sucks and is a loser.

    So anybody that disagrees with you sucks and is a loser……so a HOF player is a loser? Oh well chock this up to one of the many ignorant posts from a mental midget…..stop wasting precious oxygen.

  18. superpatriotsfan says:
    Jun 20, 2017 8:47 AM
    All to protect his investment Tom Brady. Kraft knows when Brady is gone, the Patriots will be a sinking ship.

    ————–

    Your team sunk in 1968…..and it never came back

  19. nhpats says:
    Jun 20, 2017 10:10 AM
    superpatriotsfan says:
    Jun 20, 2017 8:47 AM
    All to protect his investment Tom Brady. Kraft knows when Brady is gone, the Patriots will be a sinking ship.

    ————–

    Your team sunk in 1968…..and it never came back

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    ——————

    LOL!

    His team has so many hilarious records like the ButtFumble and orchestrated cheating attempts to try to cheat our team with Goodell in tow….

    Just mortifying.

    Their draft busts over the past 10 years is also legendary, never to be outdone by any team ever again over a 10 year span like that either.’

  20. nhpats says:
    Jun 20, 2017 10:10 AM
    superpatriotsfan says:
    Jun 20, 2017 8:47 AM
    All to protect his investment Tom Brady. Kraft knows when Brady is gone, the Patriots will be a sinking ship.

    ————–

    Your team sunk in 1968…..and it never came back
    ————————-
    And who is my team? Let me guess, you’re going to say the Jets, sorry but that’s wrong. Keep going.

  21. Translation: We would not like another bazillion dollar fine and a manufactured scandal. Here is the company line.

    I love the Krafts, but that’s what this means.

  22. A lot of people die with their brains fully intact. That’s such a waste. Think of the football that could have been played and the alcohol and drugs that could have been consumed so that those brains could have fulfilled their potential.

    Kraft fell a little short of making his real point, so I made it for him.

  23. ——————————————-
    BarbequeTime says:

    So they padded the owners box huh?
    ——————————————-

    LOL. Safety first.

  24. IIRC the concussion settlement is still being appealed, and rightly so. The NFL knowingly employed a quack rheumatologist for 30 years, during which the latter downplayed the devastating effects of CTE. Marching orders, to be sure.

    The NFL couldn’t keep lying forever, however, and the supposed safety measures they’ve implemented are a joke. No amount of advancements or improvements in helmet design will prevent concussions. And under the new touchback rule, concussions only decreased slightly (other injuries such as hammys and ACL/MCL tears actually INCREASED). Belichick made the point that concussions still happen on touchbacks as players still block since they have no idea whether a returner will take the ball out!

    Then there are the cumulative effects of the low speed, head-to-head collisions that happen on almost every snap between offensive and defensive fronts:

    ~60-80 snaps per game X 20 games (including preseason, doesn’t include countless full pads practices) X however many seasons in a given career = a lot of collisions.

    Sorry Bob: finally admitting CTE is a problem and introducing bogus half-measures do not make the game safe. By all means keep pushing that neurotechnology research, but as long as contact and tackling are part of the game it will continue to be as dangerous as ever.

  25. … and the cheating my team engages in is more prevalent than ever. I will also be visiting the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and thank god for those two idiots Pete Carroll and Dan Quinn.

  26. Patriots organization is full of cheaters. Dates all the way back to the Eagles/Patriots super bowl. Many years. Fortunately the Giants racked their rears twice……

    Ha Ha Ha…….😂

  27. Lol…. What a riot reading these whiner posts….. So much envy & bitterness…. Kraft was not only correct in stating that football has never been safer (compared to it history past rules or lack there of & of course the equipment & playing surfaces), he was also correct in his statement that there is no cure for jealousy & envy!!!
    The guy knows what he’s talkin’ ’bout!!!
    Go pats!!!

  28. Pats going for ANOTHER 3 out of 4 & back 2 back Super Bowl Championships…..
    Man, I just don’t see it ending anytime soon either….AMAIZING!!!!

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