Last night, Bob Costas did an interview with Steelers WR Hines Ward about playing with concussions in the NFL, particularly about fellow teammate Ben Roethlisberger, who suffered a concussion the week before in Kansas City. What happened next was sort of surreal… unbelievable, if you will.
Ward went on the record to say that about half of the Steelers locker room think it’s a “50/50 toss up”, saying that the players thought Ben should have been able to play. Ward mentioned that Ben had practiced during the week, expecting to play and made comments such as, “It’s just a concussion”.
To be quite frank, Ward is a dumb ass. The NFL is not taking the issue of concussions lightly anymore, and they shouldn’t. For a teammate to question his ability to play is crazy. Football is a violent game, but it’s only one aspect of the players lives. When a player retires, life goes on. And for a player with multiple concussions, that could be difficult. Memory loss, emotional and behavioral issues and even impaired judgment can all be a factor from a person who has suffered a concussion.
Ben has always been dubbed as a drama queen when it has come to his injuries. There’s always been this huge cloud on whether Ben will play leading up until game time, but he was absolutely right on sitting this one out. Ben’s latest concussion makes 3 since he’s been in the league. Allowing him to rest and get better was a huge step to the NFL taking this concussion epidemic seriously. Love him or hate him, I don’t think you could ever question Ben’s toughness. I’ve seen Ben take huge hits and still get up to make plays.
For Hines Ward to throw Ben under the bus was asinine and ignorant. Ward is a father himself. I can’t imagine he’d be pleased if he couldn’t remember key moments in his child’s life, all because he didn’t sit out when he had a concussion. While I understand he wanted his best player on the field in a huge division rival game, his words were extremely selfish.
Hines Ward, sitcho selfish azz down!