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Turley's words speak volumes about NFL's quandary

  • By Simon Samano NFL.com
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During his nine-year playing career, Kyle Turley epitomized what it meant to be an NFL badass. But now, nearly five years since his last game, Turley has an entirely different perspective on the game.

Turley already felt strongly about protecting players prior to retiring in 2007. His stance has only strengthened over the years, especially as he experiences neurological issues believed to stem from concussions sustained during his playing days.

So for Turley to find out about the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" program and, more specifically, to hear the damning audio of Gregg Williams' pre-game speech prior to the San Francisco 49ers playoff game, you can imagine Turley's disgust with th situation.

"For that to be said (by Williams) with all the information out there on concussions and the damaging effects that stem from it ... this is life-or-death stuff," Turley, who played for the Saints from 1998 to 2002, told FoxSports.com. "It has helped lead to death for many guys and contributed to so many other horrible things in players' lives after football.

"Where (Williams) goes into the most detail and the change in his voice becomes viciousness is when he talks about concussions. That just blew my mind. Some coaches have never played the game, so they don't have to experience these things. Their friends don't have to experience these things. And players, to coaches, are more than expendable. This just proved it."

That, right there, might be the strongest opinion we've heard on this matter. That is, until Turley followed up with this.

"It's exhausting to try and explain why this is wrong to people," Turley said. "There are mothers I've talked to who lost their children because of concussions suffered in youth football. When I listened to the (Williams) audio, all I can picture are these mothers bawling their eyes out and being so irate that these people don't care about their kids.

"At the end of the day, what happens on the NFL field of today will happen on the peewee field of tomorrow."

And we'll leave this post at that.

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