Doug Whaley doesn’t think humans should play football

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In many respects, the NFL has become its own worst enemy in the so-called War on Football. Typically, that happens when the league and people connected to it unreasonably downplay the risks associated with the sport. One team executive has potentially harmed the league’s interests by going to the other extreme.

Asked during an appearance on WGR 550 whether Bills G.M. Doug Whaley believes receiver Sammy Watkins is injury prone, Whaley painted with the broadest possible brush.

“This is the game of football,” Whaley said, via Harry Scull Jr. of the Buffalo News. “Injuries are part of it. It’s a violent game that I personally don’t think humans are supposed to play.”

That’s the kind of statement that could prompt plenty of humans to prevent their offspring from playing football. Making the words even more jarring is that Whaley drove directly into a ditch under the guise of trying to justify his faith in Watkins, for whom Whaley gave up the ninth overall pick in 2014, a first-round pick in 2015, and a fourth-round pick in 2015 to acquire.

Coach Rex Ryan was later asked about Whaley’s remarks, which apparently haven’t gathered much traction thanks to the brouhaha arising from the franchise’s goofy new media policy.

“I can say this, I love the game, I think it’s the greatest sports,” Ryan told reporters. “I know it’s the greatest sport, it’s the greatest game and we all know how I feel about it.”

Previously, it was believed that Whaley’s job may be riding on whether the team makes it to the playoffs this year. Tuesday’s gaffe may have sealed his fate, barring the team’s ability to perform what would be the superhuman task of winning a Super Bowl.

55 responses to “Doug Whaley doesn’t think humans should play football

  1. Well, we can’t just forfeit to the nearsighted Morlocks fielded by the Jets. This is about human pride!

  2. I’ve played the game and enjoy it but one thing keeps popping on my head. Starting roughly in the 90’s, the NFL players are looking more like gladiators every year. Bigger, faster, stronger. They are looking less like human beings. At least the kind I hang out with.

  3. You couldn’t make that up and have anyone other than a goodellbot believe it. Whaley and Rex together, that PR department doesn’t deserve any grief it deserves combat pay.

  4. What Whaley was trying to say (IMO) is that the human body was not built to play football. And he’s right. It wasn’t.

    Whaley should not face criticism for simply stating truth. It is an extremely violent game, with long Injury Reports each week – that are just commonly accepted.

    Many of us who balled absolutely love the game. We accept that risk. And we loved the competition, the bonding, the laughs and the glory. But the human body is inarguably unable to withstand some of the damage meted out on a football field.

    I believe his comments are being overblown by a hypersensitive media. If you love football, play it – and soak up all the joy in that game, knowing it comes with risks. And if you don’t love the game or want to take those risks, you’re free to choose other options. Try tennis, golf, croquet, etc.

  5. Add to the lists humans shouldn’t be doing.
    1) Working in underground coal mines
    2) Working at a nuclear power plant.
    3) Building high rise buildings
    4) Cleaning windows on high rise buildings
    5) Using large, sharp, electric saws
    6) Climbing high electrical towers
    7) Getting in the way of bullets, landmines, and rockets in armed forces
    8) Boxing, MMA, etc…
    9) Sitting at a desk cube all day and not exercising.
    10) Racing cars
    Do I really need to keep going here?

  6. @paulierorkid I agree 100% with what you said. That’s how I interpreted his quotes, and I’m really disappointed so many others are too ignorant or naive to actually see that.

    Still, yes, Football is an inherently violent game, and that’s not the problem. The problem is the NFL knows this and continues to try to hide and cover up the dangers, and lie about it. Which is why I doubt Whaley is gonna get off of this w/o some sort of reprimand from the NFL

  7. Maybe he just means the humans he has to watch practice every day shouldn’t be playing.

  8. We can all put words in his mouth and say “this is what he meant to say,” or “he didn’t mean it that way.” Truth is, football is a violent sport. But the truth also goes this way: there are 32 GMs in the NFL (33 if you count both Joneses in Dallas). An NFL GM that feels that way may find himself out of work pretty quickly.

    By the way, why isn’t the media going after UFC or boxing? Aren’t there violent blows to the head involved there, too?

  9. The game wouldnt be so bad if it was played by normal people like back in the days.

    but todays football player is so juiced up on god knows what that they are playing faster and hitting harder than ever, and no amount of juice is going to make your ligaments stronger so knees and achilles tendons are going to continue to blow.

  10. I think he meant “The Rex Ryan coached Bills really should not be playing football”……and the thing is….in most games, they aren’t.

  11. And the human arm wasn’t designed to throw overhand, and especially not to hurl objects at 90+ mph.

    So? Humans do things their bodies aren’t supposed to do for money all the time, especially in sports.

  12. Do you think a GM should keep their if their last four 1st round draft picks are not on the field opening day! I don’t.

    EJ Manual – back up and will be cut next year.

    Sammy Watkins – broken foot, may miss the first couple of games (he’s worth 2 first round picks). Btw if the Bill stood pat at their 9th spot, they would have gotten O’Dell

    Shaq Lawson – most likely out for the year with a shoulder surgery.

  13. Doug Whaley is the best GM the Bills have seen since Bill Polian left and ownership would have to be insane to fire him for anything less than 5 wins, a felony conviction or telling the city of Buffalo to shove it.

    That said…hes not the most political dude out there.

  14. I assume this statement to mean biologically, humans are not engineered for the game of football. There are elements to the game that are not natural to the human body. The same is true for many things that humans do – rock climbing, contortion, etc.

    Therein lies the truth about injuries. This is one of many examples where humans are pushing their minds and bodies beyond natural intentions, causing risk of injury.

    When a person adopts an activity that is beyond normal human intentions – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc – they also accept the potential repercussions.

    Let’s not jump up and down waving the “a GM told people not to play football” flag.

  15. Somebody burst this guy’s bubble and tell him we don’t live in a perfect world.

  16. Whaley’s statement is the equivilent of Hillary Clinton claiming she cares about women, except for the women who were abused by Bill, and the ones she underpays at the Clinton Crime Family Foundation.

    Gotta love it !!!

  17. Why is he the best GM the Bills have had since Bill Polian left?

    Because he put together a team with no QB and no cap space?

    The QB is the single most important piece of the puzzle and the most expensive.

    Any “GM” can build a team like he did.

  18. Where did he say “humans shouldn’t play football”?

    He said “humans aren’t suppose to play football”. Which is obvious. Our bodies also shouldn’t be flying down the highway at 70 mph either, but we drive cars.

  19. I’m all for the NFL becoming the Robot Football League, but I think the technology is a bit primitive for that.

  20. DUH! That’s why we pay ’em a zillion dollars.

    Risk / Reward……..possibly cripple your body by playing a gladiator sport for 5 years but get paid millions. 1728 athletes think it’s worth playing.

  21. Did he forget why he makes more than 80% of the worlds population? Pretty sweet promo of his line of work and his fat bank account…. loser

  22. paulieorkid says:
    May 24, 2016 3:47 PM
    What Whaley was trying to say (IMO) is that the human body was not built to play football. And he’s right. It wasn’t.

    Whaley should not face criticism for simply stating truth

    Thank you Capt. Obvious. Of course that’s what he meant and he is right. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be criticized for saying it so poorly.

  23. Until we have cylons vs the borg, we’re stuck with fragile humans. Until then, injuries will always be part of the game. Let’s work together to mitigate, and hopefully one day even eliminate brain trauma while keeping it fun to play and watch. Is that too much to ask?

  24. He’s right…Lets get all the politicians to play…with no helmets

  25. meetadam says:
    May 24, 2016 5:00 PM
    Where did he say “humans shouldn’t play football”?

    He said “humans aren’t suppose to play football”. Which is obvious. Our bodies also shouldn’t be flying down the highway at 70 mph either, but we drive cars.

    Man, you are right, that one little word they changed in this headline really made it seem like he said something different that what was actually said, I may have not even notice it if you hadn’t pointed it out, wow I’m never surprised how the media takes every oppurtunity to make someone look as bad and as stupid as possible

  26. I guess we should all go back to chasing animals down, spearing them, and eating them raw then. That’s what humans were supposed to do, right?

  27. It’s not surprising that the same guy who ardently defends the Patriots throughout the ball deflation scandal would take “humans aren’t supposed to” and headline “humans shouldn’t”.

    Humans aren’t supposed to walk in shoes on flat concrete surfaces. This is not to say that humans shouldn’t walk around NYC on a regular basis. Are we damaging our feet? Yeah. It’s a tradeoff, and some of us will never have issues.

    Humans also aren’t supposed to climb tall rock faces, run marathons, and yet we place ourselves at risk by doing these things.

  28. So you’re getting paid to be a GM in a sport humans should not play? Then get out, no one’s asking you to stay and collect the paycheck. Put up or shut up otherwise don’t open your mouth. This “non human’ sport is putting plenty of money on your table, be thankful. Lots of people in this world don’t have that choice.

  29. As a Jets fan I hope Whaley is fired because he’s managed to find some good players for the Bills. (Whaley didn’t draft Manuel , he took over after the draft. Whaley wisely let Jarius Byrd walk. The only move he made I don’t like is trading up for Watkins.)

    I’m hoping Whaley is fired, Rex stays a few more years, and Whaley is replaced by some god awful GM, the like John Idzik.

  30. “Tuesday’s gaffe may have sealed his fate…”


    Sealed his fate? Just like the Bills fate was sealed to move to LA or Toronto all those years? It just had to happen? There was no other possibility? Because fate, right?

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