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Whitlock: DeMaurice Smith and the NFL’s ‘Great Society’ concussion movement undermine football

Scott Taetsch / Contributor, Cooper Neill / Contributor, Pool / Pool | Getty Images

Quit blaming the referees for ruining the NFL.

Take Jerome Boger and Carl Cheffers out of your crosshairs. The lead officials flagging defensive linemen for roughing the passer are soldiers following orders handed down from on high.

The players – current and former – are responsible for undermining the integrity of NFL competition and feminizing the game.

The players chose DeMaurice Smith, a beta male with a subversive agenda, to lead their union. The players swallowed the anti-Gene Upshaw narrative and decided the NFLPA needed an executive director with no connection to or passion for football. They prioritized leadership that would be adversarial with ownership, align with progressive politics, and be willing to wage a race war with an industry that produces more black male millionaires than any other.

Useful idiots elected a Trojan horse to lead them.

Player safety defines Smith’s 13-year leadership platform. Like all Marxist ideas, Smith’s platform uses the skin of truth to hide the meat of a lie. He paves the road to hell with alleged good intentions.

He wants to make football safer. It’s a virtuous goal. But it has its limits. It’s the equivalent of making carrot cake less fattening. You remove the frosting, brown sugar, flour, cream cheese, and butter, and before you know it, you’re closer to making coleslaw than a cake.

The enemies of masculinity hate football and its perch atop American popular culture. They’re waging a long war to turn football into soccer, a sport played at a high level by men and women. Smith serves that agenda.

A D.C. lawyer, Smith is the antithesis of his predecessor, Upshaw, a Hall of Fame NFL player who innately understood the essence of football. The game sells gladiator-style violence to an audience that loves high-risk competition. Upshaw fought for the players to earn as much money as possible in exchange for taking the physical risks. He was not unconcerned with the health of players. He simply understood the league’s TV partners sell cake, not coleslaw.

So who led the overreaction to Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion?

DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA. Smith called for a full investigation of how the Miami Dolphins handled Tua’s injury in the game against Buffalo. Tua left that game with either a back injury or head trauma and returned to finish it.

Throughout the history of professional and amateur football, players have returned to games after suffering an injury millions of times. It’s not remotely uncommon. Over the last decade, as corporate media have used CTE junk science to undermine football participation, every time a football player gets his bell rung, it is treated as a possible life-and-death situation

The same thing we celebrate in the boxing ring or mixed martial arts octagon, we villainize on the football field. We pretend that 70% of men who participated in tackle football past high school are at risk of developing dementia by age 60.

It’s media-induced madness similar to the fear mainstream media fomented around the COVID flu. The real pandemic is fear. We’re being programmed to fear football.

DeMaurice Smith is football’s Dr. Anthony Fauci. ESPN is CNN. The NFL’s concussion protocol is the N95 mask.

Who campaigned for the NFL to immediately adjust its concussion protocol after Tua suffered head trauma or a spinal injury on Thursday Night Football against the Bengals?

DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA.

So who is ultimately responsible for referees Jerome Boger and Carl Cheffers flagging Grady Jarrett and Chris Jones for roughing the passer on routine, harmless football plays?

Smith and the NFLPA. They caused the hysteria that is rapidly changing the game of football.

Troy Aikman complained on the Monday Night Football broadcast. He demanded that the league’s competition committee take the dresses off the players. After watching Jones sack-strip Derek Carr and draw a penalty flag, Tony Dungy tweeted: “This is not football anymore. I know we have to protect the QB but Chris Jones was recovering a fumble. We have gotten ridiculous with this.”

Aikman, as a player, and Dungy, as a coach, are both enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Aikman suffered multiple concussions during his playing career. Dungy led defenses that featured concussion-giving hitters like John Lynch, Derrick Brooks, and Warren Sapp.

Football is not meant to be a safe space.

Removing the hard hits and wrapping the quarterbacks in bubble wrap undermines the integrity of the game. So do all the limits on practice time and practice contact. The game that Aikman played isn’t the same one that 45-year-old Tom Brady now dominates.

The current game devalues Brady’s accomplishments. We’re turning Babe Ruth into Mighty Mike Macenko.

You ever heard of Macenko? He’s the home run king. Of softball. He cracked more than 6,000 homers. He’s not Babe Ruth.

The NFL is fast-pitch softball with a bunch of guys getting Barry Bonds money.

This construct fuels a justifiable but unhealthy resentment among retired players. The old guys who actually built the league into a TV powerhouse sit at home nursing their wounds and watching Kyler Murray earn $46 million a season for playing a game they don’t respect or recognize.

You don’t have to be Dick Butkus’ age to harbor that resentment. If you played in the NFL 15 or 10 years ago, you have a right to be frustrated. The frustration manifests itself in peculiar ways.

The former players aren’t mad at DeMaurice Smith or the union. They blame the people whom the media instruct them to blame – ownership. It’s Jerry Jones’ fault. It’s Dan Snyder. It’s the billionaire owners. It’s the white man’s fault. He’s their daddy.

No. This is on the players. They’re poor stewards of a game that enriched them. The players followed Colin Kaepernick into the anti-American abyss. The players followed the Alphabet Mafia into the Black Lives Matter abyss.

The players denigrate football, the industry that has produced far more black millionaires than hip-hop or even the NBA. The players won’t defend the game that has been very good to them. They’re so controlled by bitterness and envy they’d rather tear down the NFL than leave the league intact for the next generation.

Many of the former players want the NFL to fail. They made their money. They want the ratings to drop and for fans to walk away. They naively and foolishly believe it will hurt the billionaire owners who have a plethora of revenue streams. They don’t care that it will prevent the next generation of players from acquiring life-changing and generational wealth.

The intentional mishandling of the player safety issue is just another version of the long-form okie-doke black liberals find irresistible.

DeMaurice Smith is football’s Lyndon Johnson, player safety is the Great Society initiative, the concussion protocol is welfare, and all the beta males chirping on ESPN are welfare queens.

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