Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trump also doubles down on criticism of 'soft' NFL

Donald Trump is not a fan of the NFL’s new concussion measures.

AP

Donald Trump is not a fan of the NFL’s new concussion measures.

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

Trump also doubles down on criticism of 'soft' NFL 10/13/16 [Last modified: Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.