Lem Barney apologize for context, not content, of his remarks


Hall of Fame cornerback Lem Barney has been talking a lot lately.  He’s now saying that he shouldn’t have said what he recently said in the place where he said it.

Barney issued a statement on Sunday apologizing not for his comments about football being “deadly” and that the sport will be gone in 20 years, but for choosing to share those thoughts at a youth football camp.

“The other day, at the Sound Mind and Body Camp, I was asked about my thoughts on football and safety,” Barney said.  “While I made comments I believe to be truthful it is apparent to me now that the camp was not the forum for those comments.  These are the same comments I have made for years before Congress, under oath and at numerous events for retired players and it’s become second nature.”

In other words, Barney must have privately taken a lot of flak for scaring a bunch of kids.

“I don’t want to discourage young men from their love of the game, I just want the game to be safe,” Barney said.  “What I said were things I feel, things that happened to me, but obviously it was not the right time or place . . . and I apologize to any of the coaches whom I made uncomfortable at the event.  I wish all those involved in our great sport a long, healthy and SAFE career.”

That’s fine, but the only way football can be made truly safe will be to change it in a way that will make it far less enjoyable to watch.  Therein lies the dilemma for the NFL, which will try to make the game safer but accept the reality that risks exist.  And the NFL will endure as long as young men choose to accept those risks in exchange for a lot of money.

In other words, football isn’t going anywhere, no matter what Barney says.  Or where he says it.

15 responses to “Lem Barney apologize for context, not content, of his remarks

  1. Doesn’t sound like there is much of a future for football for the young kids, so why not discourage them from it if that’s what you believe. Either you know what you believe is bogus and you should refine your beliefs, or you are being a coward for not advising a young person to not steer away from something that you passionately believe has no future, except to get young people hurt en route to a this dead end career option.

  2. Shut your fat mouth. Athletes are paid well to give up their body. No one complain until their broke and then its lawyer time. True fans will never watch it if its watered down. Make them sign waivers and keep it moving. No one complain when soldiers get paid scraps and give up their life. Stop turning this Country into a weak thing of the past. Can’t say this can’t do that or the left will be all over you. A nation of weaklings we are becoming. WOW!!!!!!

  3. I agree with “thegreatgabbert” and apologize for my own syntax in commenting about Barney’s syntax. My post is a total mess, and in 20 years unfortunately it has a much better chance of still being a mess than the NFL’s chance of continuing to exist. D’oh!

  4. Barney is right- football is basically unsustainable in the long run as it is currently played. We all love the game, but the costs to society as society becomes more economically stratified will be unacceptable. Change is inevitable.

  5. It is unsafe to leave your house too…lots of bad things could happen.

    Cigarettes kill how many people each year? They put warnings on the package but do not change the content too much. People want their nicotine like they want their football. If ciggs stopped containing any nicotine, they would lose so much business. The NFL will not eliminate their own career for the health of a few thousand guys per year. They will just have longer ads instead…

  6. NO MORE CHANGES!!!! OMFG, they have these MMA leagues in which guys lay motionless for 3-5 seconds taking blows to the head from the worlds most dangerous fighters!! They have jousting leagues popping up now, real hard core horseback jousting!! Nobody is getting all uppity about the safety of those guys who are making scraps compared to NFLers! Everyone knows the risks now, so they can sign a waiver and live out their dream or they can pursue another livelihood! It’s really that simple.. As for the players from past eras who didn’t know “all” the risks involved, they should be taken care of in certain ways to a certain extent. And none of this crap would be happening to “this great game of ours” if Goodell and the league front office would’ve done the right thing 5 or 10 years ago!! They should have started back then, setting aside a large amount annually to help NFL alumni who face health issues due to their years in the league!! It’s getting seriously out of hand!! Before too long the NFL might look more like a flag football game played with a Nerf instead of a pigskin!!!
    Gonna go down in history as the worst ever destruction of a good thing, at the height of its prime!!!


    Grrrrrrrrr, I wanna tackle something!!
    Using good “Heads up” technique of course!!

  7. “And the NFL will endure as long as young men choose to accept those risks in exchange for a lot of money.”
    The crazy thing about this fact is how many of these young men end up utterly financially broke and physically broken. Meanwhile, the NFL makes bazillions of dollars on the athletes poor judgement/lack of foresight. And it’s all buoyed up by tax dollars (tough to play the game without a stadium). Pretty sickening.

  8. Football is an inherently dangerous game. Most of us have played organized ball on some level. We’ve also all taken hits that make you ask yourself if it’s worth it. In my case by the time i made my way back to the sideline all i was worried about is how soon i could get back in the game. After high school if i thought i had a chance to keep playing i would’ve sacrificed anything to do it. That would’ve been MY decision to make just like the men that were good enough to keep playing was THEIR decision. To claim ignorance after the fact that they didn’t know the dangers is not only incredible i believe it’s a lie. It’s like getting lung cancer from smoking & then claiming they had no idea smoking was bad for you. I do believe headhunting in the game at any level should be banned along with hitting at the knees but beyond that you can’t legislate safety into a dangerous game. We knee the risks 30 years ago & we know the risks now. If you’re not willing to live with them, don’t play, then sue, & end up ruining the game that is a true American treasure.

  9. delmonte55 says:
    Jun 16, 2013 10:35 PM

    >>>No one can truly say what they think anymore. The PC Police are on patrol!<<<

    As much as I agree with your comment, this guy was surrounded by kids who still dream of playing this game on Saturdays & Sundays someday.. It wasn't soo god awfull that he said football would be gone in 20 years, but combine that with him telling these children that football is "deadly" and you've got something inappropriate! I strongly doubt that one of these youngsters asked for his opinion on the topic and even if they did, he should have found a different way to speak his truthful opinion..

    But like I said, I agree with your comment overall. The media will take jabs at all these people for giving vague, PR manufactured answers, but when somebody speaks candidly and doesn't sugar coat their opinion, then that same media will have a field day making that person sorry for doing so!! It's really nauseating!!

  10. I noticed that the comments were made at a youth football camp, not at a major university where football is big bu$iness. Oops!

  11. I find it funny that the “Legends Of The Game” will say they want the game to be safe but every step towards making it safer the NFL takes, they call it soft and talk about how it was “back in the day”. I used to dispise Goodell but now I see what he is doing. If he doesn’t TRY to make the game safer and satisfactory then the NFL will lose to these hypocrites. I don’t like the fact that he can and will suspend a player before he’s even found guilty in court but pretty much everything else I can see the sense in and understand why these owners continue to pay him. He’s actually quite smart. He is doing what he has to do to keep the NFL in place while also globalizing it as a whole. I sort of respect the man now that I look at the whole picture and put myself in his shoes (which I doubt many of us complainers could ever fill)….The man has a hard job…

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