Yesterday (July 25), the National Football League and National Football League Players Association announced a new policy to enforce the league’s game day concussion protocol, and punishments for teams in violation of it. Teams will be subject to hefty fines and possibly stripped of future draft picks, if found not following the new policy, the Washington Post reports.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 25, 2016
The old policy didn’t fine teams in violation of the concussion protocol. Now, organizations will be facing a minimum of a $50,000 fine for their first offense. Repeat offenders will face punishments with a $100,000 penalty minimum. If needed, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has the power to strip teams of future draft selections, if they are found to have multiple violations or are looking to gain a competitive advantage.
The NFL has been under intense scrutiny for their unwillingness to acknowledge head injuries due to contact from playing football in the past. They settled a lawsuit for over $9 million with former players who were suffering from neurological diseases linked to repeated blows to the head last year.
Player safety should always be priority number one for the league, not maximizing profit. The NFL and NFLPA need to continue to work together with doctors to make the game as safe as possible year to year.