Jim Brown Says NFL Must Catch Up to NASCAR in Safety

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2013

Auto racing and American football are two very different sports. However, both NASCAR and the NFL share a similar goal in keeping their competitors safe.

Still, there are those who believe that the football league is well behind the racing organization in this area, including Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, via ESPN's Terry Blount:

We are way behind. NASCAR stepped up their safety concepts, and I think the drivers feel NASCAR is doing everything that can be done.

So we are a little behind NASCAR in that respect. Someone in NASCAR realized there were certain things that could be done to make it safer. The same thing has to happen in football. It's two different sports, but you want to make sure it's as safe as you can make it.

This is the first time [the NFL] has really taken the safety situation seriously. Part of that was forced on them because of the concussion lawsuits, but I think when we come out of this we'll have a much safer game without taking away from the impact of the game.

It is near impossible to compare the safety measures in the two sports, but the biggest difference between the two is the effort.    

NASCAR has continued to make changes to its cars to prevent serious injury and possibly even death. This past offseason, there were improvements made to Nationwide and Sprint Cup cars to give "additional protection to the driver in the event of accident or fire," according to Mark Aumann of NASCAR.com.  

There was also an improvement made to the net on the driver's window, but the changes have not affected things from the fan perspective. Aumann states the adjustments are barely noticeable. 

On the other hand, the NFL changes have been much less subtle. This offseason, owners passed a rule that states offensive players are no longer allowed to lower the crown of their helmet outside of the tackle box.

This is certain to affect some of the more physical running backs around the league, like Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch. Unsurprisingly, this has brought on plenty of complaints from players and fans alike

Still, the ultimate goal is player safety. As Brown mentions, lawsuits might have forced the NFL's hand, but the changes will end up being good for the league over the long term.

As long as the effort is there to continue improving, the league should be able to keep up in the race for safety with other sports organizations.  


Rob Goldberg is a member of Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates.

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