The league handed the Buffalo Bills a $20,000 fine this week for violating league procedures when reporting injuries. On a couple separate occasions, Bills defensive end, Mario Williams, claimed that his play was a bit sluggish due to a wrist injury that he has been battling. Some people criticized him for complaining about an injury that wasn’t even listed on the injury report. According to injury reports during the past two weeks, Williams has been listed but prior to, he was not.
Based on the rules within the NFL, each week an injury report must be provided to the public, listing any players who are nursing an injury. The rule dates back to 1947 when Bert Bell was league commissioner. He believed that not disclosing injuries and players, who could potentially not play in the upcoming game, would hurt the integrity of the NFL and also promote insider information being used to gamble. While in theory, this makes sense, fast forwarding to today, the rule may be a little out dated.
Now with health regulations like HIPPA laws, it seems somewhat ironic that we post peoples’ injuries and illnesses for all to see. HIPPA was created in order to protect a person from having to share any medical information with anyone other than that specific person. The injury report has now become a tool for fantasy owners and Vegas betting, more than it is about the players and the integrity of the game. Not only that, but with the NFL facing lawsuits and allegations of turning a blind eye from the welfare and health of the players, doesn’t it seem strange that the NFL would demand and fine teams for not fully disclosing all injuries to the public? Talk about putting a target on the players’ back. This is just another example of the hypocrisy of the league under Roger Goodell.