Maurice Jones-Drew Speaks Out About the NFL and Concussions: A Milestone?

Brendan O'Hare@brendohareContributor IDecember 29, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 24:  Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs against the Tennessee Titans during play at LP Field on December 24, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans won 23-17.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Let's give a brief round of applause to Maurice Jones-Drew before the NFL's State Security Department gets to him for his statements regarding concussions:

"I've had concussions before, and it wasn't this big deal about concussions," Jones-Drew said. "The only reason they're making a big deal about concussions right now is because the league is getting sued over it. Before this, you never heard about it. A couple of years ago, you didn't hear anything about it."

Wow. That's a supremely gutsy statement by Jones-Drew, one that will likely have him called down to the principal's office (especially since he's spoken out about this recently).

He is basically implying that the NFL does not really care about the players' safety, and is only suddenly doing so because the almighty dollar is involved. He's probably right, too.

The NFL is a reactionary league when it comes to reform. It took Congress to wake them up to have any sort of guidelines regarding concussions in 2009.

It took a player having a seizure on a plane to have the referees check out possibly concussed players (a policy I am not a fan of, more info here). It took Terrell Owens' leg snapping in half for the NFL to outlaw horse-collar tackles.

Jones-Drew is saying that the only reason the NFL has suddenly donned morality caps, is because they are being sued.

When you are being sued for essentially lying to your employees about what was happening to their bodies, like the tobacco industry did for decades, it suddenly becomes a great time to start rabbling and issuing phony and useless reform, reform that only looks good when taken at face value (Oh nice! The referees will look out for the players! What's that? They aren't real doctors?).

To even utter the notion that the NFL cares about the players (as certain people I've talked to have said), is absurd.

They don't care about the players, they care about the money they would be set to lose. Unless the definition of "caring" has changed, any attempt to say the NFL even gives a crap is obliviously wrong and ignorant.

I can't give Jones-Drew enough credit for coming out and noticing the big, grotesque elephant in the corner. If the players ever want the NFL to actually do anything about the concussion problem, they need to speak up.

Kudos to you, Maurice Jones-Drew. Now maybe you can get some of your peers involved.