I tuned away from a National Football League game last night because I was tired of seeing football players kneeling.
No, NOT during the National Anthem.
I'm talking about the all-too-frequent kind of kneeling that should be causing alarm bells throughout football at all levels. It isn't that pregame stuff. It's the kneeling during games -- meaning players gathered in a circle around a fallen teammate who has just taken a vicious hit on the field and is motionless on the ground.
I'm disgusted by it. I've had enough of it. Somebody is going to get killed someday -- and I mean killed. Dead.
So while people will spend the day arguing over whether the hit by Chicago's Danny Trevathan on Green Bay's Davante Adams was intentional, let me suggest that the intent part of this issue shouldn't matter any longer.
If you stick a guy like that -- helmet to helmet at high speed -- you should be in your locker room two minutes later, booted out of the game. Suspended and fined, too. Take the intent out of it -- you just can't tolerate dangerous situations like that. The players are too big and too fast, leading to a new level of violence that's better left to video games.
Football has lost its way, distracted by a love for "hitting" rather than "tackling." Nobody really tackles these days. Not if they can crush someone with a collision along the lines of a train wreck. The old days of wrapping people up with arm tackles is long gone. It's all about the sound and fury of a big knock now and what's needed isn't just a rule change, but a culture change.
And for me, this is getting hard to watch. There is no reason for the pros, the colleges or the high schools to put up with ANY hits directly to the head -- premeditated or not. Hit people on the shoulder pads or lower -- or find yourself looking for another sport. And that goes for offensive players, too. Ball carriers leading with the crown of their helmet should be penalized, too, if they cause similar collisions.
End the hits to the head and neck before it's too late. Don't make a tragic death the reason for a culture change.