Green Bay Packers offensive guard Josh Sitton voiced some brusque concerns Tuesday about the NFL’s Thursday Night Football concept, criticizing the league for putting profits ahead of players’ well-being.
Sitton told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Lori Nickel on the eve of his team’s upcoming Thursday night game against Minnesota that the concept “sucks,” and that he “hates it.”
He addressed Thursday Night Football further:
“I felt like crap today. Will probably feel like crap on Thursday. I think it’s stupid. I think it’s all about money for the NFL. Obviously. That’s what this league is about. It’s about making money.
“Which is fine. I like to make money as well. But it is tough on your body, tough on your head. Tuesday is typically the day your body feels the worst. I know for us, the offensive linemen, that’s what we always talk about – the second day, you always feel like crap. It’s tough getting out there on the practice field today.”
Sitton is hardly the first player or fan to criticize Thursday night games, which normally require players to play on three days’ rest instead of six.
In 2012, then-Ravens safety Ed Reed told Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg, ”If (the NFL was) really so concerned about the violence and the injuries, players getting hurt, answer this question for me ... why is there Thursday Night Football? We played three games in 17 days.” In 2013
In 2013, Houston Texas running back Arian Foster argued eliminating Thursday Night Football would make the NFL safer than other measures would.
The league recently awarded the rights to broadcast the first eight Thursday night games of the season to CBS for a reported $250 million, and expanded the total number of Thursday night games to 16. In previous seasons, the NFL Network aired every Thursday night game.
The move to broadcast television allowed the NFL to “bring these games to more fans … with unprecedented promotion and visibility for Thursday Night Football on CBS,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.
- Will Green