Dec. 21, 2016
More Players Worried About Their Safety After Another Helmet-to-Helmet Hit on Cam Newton
All season long the story of the NFL has been player safety and how inconsistent officials have been missing certain calls. Some in the perfect position to make a call, ignorantly decide to look the other way. Several coaches, players, and other NFL analysts are deeply concerned. It is almost as if Cam Newton has a target on his back and the officials do not care enough to protect him like they would with Rodgers, Manning, Cousins, etc. Last night on prime time television Kirk Cousins was pushed out of bounds when his feet were technically inside the lines, but defensive tackle Kawann Short (the man who pushed him out) got penalized. Cam Newton sliding and getting hit in the head was a non-call. The hit to the quarterback while sliding should have been an automatic flag. The rule has been strict for a reason. Instead Cam Newton tossing the football at an official drew a flag and 15-yard penalty. Why must the officials have something against Cam Newton?
The rules in Section 2, Article 1 of the NFL's rule book clearly states, "A defender must pull up when a runner begins a feet-first slide. This does not mean that all contact by a defender is illegal. If a defender has already committed himself, and the contact is unavoidable, it is not a foul unless the defender commits some other act, such as helmet-to-helmet contact or by driving his forearm or shoulder into the head or neck area of the runner."
Mike Freeman, national NFL writer, talked this morning about all the texts from players around the league that are deeply concerned with the awful and disrespectful officiating. Some are even concerned that there has been bias against Cam Newton. Others agree that there should be an investigation into the officiating crew. A lot of these guys may not like Cam Newton, but there are mature enough to realize what is going in around the NFL and how disrespectful it is.
The officiating crew should be suspended rest of season for flagging the reaction and not the hit to Cam's head. Disgraceful...— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) December 20, 2016
I'm always ripping Newton for whining but everything he says about the NFL refs not protecting him like the Golden Boy QBs is true...— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) December 20, 2016
It almost appears that there are different treatment plans for each quarterback. You notice how well guys like Rodgers, Cousins, Brady and Manning get protected. Almost anytime they are touched there is a flag thrown. Then you have the other end of the spectrum guys like Cam Newton, Kaepernick, Bridgewater, etc. Those guys are lucky to get a call if anything. It would take them getting stabbed or shot for any flag to come out.
Cam Newton has spoken out about safety pretty regularly ever since October. In the beginning of the season he didn't want to seem whiny or a complainer, but the problem is there are always people that are going to look at him that way. In October he said, "It's really taking the fun out of the game for me. At times I don't even feel safe. And enough is enough."