One of the benefits of the NFL’s gimmicky color rush uniforms is that they make everything stand out in stark relief.
Last night, mutual respect and human compassion came with the package.
When Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly went down and was sobbing uncontrollably after his concussion, it was easy to spot Saints safety Roman Harper (who played for the Panthers the last two years) in all white among the players surrounding the Panthers star.
“Luke is a great friend of mine, and anytime you see one of your friends down it’s never a good thing,” Harper said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “He’s not just an average guy to me. Seeing the way that he was, I was trying to get him to calm down and control himself.
“I know Luke. He’s trying to get back. He’s trying to battle it and not be hurt.”
Kuechly wasn’t the only one to take a traumatic blow to the head last night, as Mark Ingram also left the game and didn’t return after a shot from Panthers safety Kurt Coleman. But Coleman said the concern transcended team lines.
“It’s a brotherhood,” Coleman said. “That’s the one thing that people don’t understand. Yeah, in between the lines we’re trying to battle, but it doesn’t matter what team you are.
“We all look out for each other because you never want to see a player go down like that. Even when Mark went down, I was saying some prayers because this game is too tough and it’s too rough as it is We sign up for it, but like I said, this is a brotherhood and we look out for each other.”
It’s admirable for the collection of human beings involved that they took a moment to think about someone wearing a different color, perhaps helping for a moment to fill the national empathy gap which transcends football at the moment. But if they were truly united, perhaps in the future they’ll band together to address other problems such as playing in short weeks, which no one in the labor force seems to enjoy.