Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sports

Trump also doubles down on criticism of 'soft' NFL

During his run for president, Donald Trump has been highly critical of the NFL, a sport he sees as growing "soft like the country has become soft" and he repeated that theme Wednesday at a rally in Lakeland, zeroing in on concussion protocol.

A woman fainted during his speech and he took the opportunity to contrast her quick recovery with that of NFL players:

"That woman was out cold, and now she's coming back. We don't go by these new, and very much softer, NFL rules. Concussions — Oh! Oh! Got a little ding on the head. No, no, you can't play for the rest of the season.' Our people are tough."

During the NFL playoffs in January, Trump expanded on that theme at a Reno, Nev., rally.

"It's a Sunday, who the hell wants to watch these crummy games? I just want to watch the end. ... What I just said about a game — so I'm watching a game yesterday. What used to be considered a great tackle, a violent head-on (tackle), a violent — if that was done by Dick Butkus, they'd say he's the greatest player. If that were done by Lawrence Taylor — it was done by Lawrence Taylor and Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke, right? Ray Nitschke — you used to see these tackles and it was incredible to watch, right?

"Now they tackle. 'Oh, head-on-head collision, 15 yards.' The whole game is all screwed up. You say, 'Wow, what a tackle.' Bing. Flag. Football has become soft."

The NFL has cracked down on hits to the head amid a lawsuit over head injuries that resulted in a $1 billion settlement with former players in April 2015. Some former players have asked the Supreme Court to block the settlement because of how it treats current brain injuries versus future ones. The league also has changed the way it handles concussions, establishing a protocol in light of a growing evidence linking the accumulation of hits to the head to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE leads to memory loss, depression, confusion and other neurological and psychological issues.

Trump might have actually been onto one thing, though, in January, when he also told the Reno crowd that NFL games were now boring. TV ratings have shown significant decline this season, with plenty of people believing that an intense presidential campaign that devours headlines is partly to blame.

"It's become weak and you know what? It's going to affect the NFL. I don't even watch it as much anymore. It's going to affect the NFL. I don't watch it," he said in January. "The referees, they want to all throw flags so their wives see them at home. 'Oh, there's my husband.' (Laughter) It's true. 'He just broke up - he just gave a 15-yard penalty on one of the most beautiful tackles made this year.' Right?

"It's boring — although I love Tom Brady. I gotta tell you. I do love Tom. He's a great guy. But it's different. But it's become soft and our country has become soft."

Contributing: AP

Comments
D’Ernest Johnson hopes to showcase versatility at East-West Shrine Game

D’Ernest Johnson hopes to showcase versatility at East-West Shrine Game

On a cloudless, brisk St. Petersburg afternoon, D'Ernest Johnson lined up deep in the backfield, darted to the right flat and snagged a short Riley Ferguson pass.Within a matter of minutes, he snagged another. Suddenly, it was 2016 all over again for...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Tony Perez, Dick Allen to highlight    Ted Williams museum inductions

Tony Perez, Dick Allen to highlight Ted Williams museum inductions

Hall of Famer Tony Perez and longtime Phillies/White Sox star Dick Allen will be inducted into the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame next month in Clearwater.Former Yankees Cy Young Award winner Ron Guidry and longtime Astros ace J.R. Richard also wi...
Updated: 30 minutes ago
Warriors keep Cavaliers reeling

Warriors keep Cavaliers reeling

CLEVELAND — Kevin Durant scored 32, Stephen Curry added 23 and the Warriors won their 13th straight road game with a 118-108 Martin Luther King holiday victory Monday night over the Cavaliers, their struggling NBA Finals foes. Durant scored 16 in the...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Kerber continues to play well

Kerber continues to play well

MELBOURNE, Australia — Former champion Angelique Kerber continued her resurgent run with a 6-0, 6-4 win over fellow German Anna-Lena Friedsam to reach the second round of the Australian Open early today. Kerber raced through the first set in 17 minut...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

CORAL GABLES — Gary Trent scored a season-high 30 and No. 5 Duke needed less than three minutes to erase a 13-point second-half deficit, scoring 18 consecutive points to overtake No. 25 Miami 83-75 on Monday night. The Blue Devils scored 15 in six po...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Seguin sends Stars past Bruins in OT

Seguin sends Stars past Bruins in OT

BOSTON — Former Bruins first-round draft pick Tyler Seguin, hearing it from his old fans, scored on a delayed penalty in overtime to lead the Stars to a 3-2 victory over Boston on Monday. Boston rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime and earn a...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Hillsborough TE/LS Wilson Morse this year’s Bill Minahan scholarship recipient

Hillsborough TE/LS Wilson Morse this year’s Bill Minahan scholarship recipient

TAMPA — The fourth annual pick for the Bill Minahan Award was a tough choice indeed.It came down to five Hillsborough County football players — Hillsborough's Wilson Morse, Berkeley Prep's Nicholas Petit-Frere, Gaither's Camden Roth, Stei...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWisconsin at Purdue7 p.m.ESPNLouisville at Notre Dame7 p.m.ESPN2Georgia at LSU7 p.m.ESPNUVanderbilt at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECClemson at North Carolina7 p.m.Fox SunCincinnati at UCF7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: Michigan at Ohio State7 p...
Updated: 9 hours ago

MAKING NEWSMCCUTCHEN JOINS LONGO IN SAN FRANCISCOAfter acquiring 3B Evan Longoria from the Rays, the Giants deal for another franchise face, getting Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen. 6CVikings’ kneel helps Saints coverVikings fans were celebrating, but in...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Sports in brief

BASEBALLGIANTS ACQUIRE PIRATES STAR MCCUTCHENSAN FRANCISCO — The Giants found the outfielder they were looking for this winter, acquiring Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates on Monday less than a month after dealing for Rays longtime 3B Evan Longoria. ...
Updated: 9 hours ago