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    Default Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players
    USA Today
    12-1-2010

    PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (FSY) lashed out Wednesday at the NFL for what he calls its hypocritical stance on player safety, arguing the league recently toughened its stance only because it wants to expand to an 18-game season.

    Ward said there is considerable confusion among players about which hits are legal and which aren't since the league stepped up its policing of dangerous hits. Steelers linebacker James Harrison (FSY) has been fined $125,000 for four separate hits since mid-October, two of which weren't penalized.

    [IMGL]http://i54.tinypic.com/ws8gad.jpg[/IMGL]"They league doesn't care about us anyway," said Ward, a 13-year veteran and the leading receiver in Steelers history. "They don't care about the safety of the game. If the league was so concerned about the safety, why are you adding two more games on? You talk about you don't want players to drink ... and all you see is beer commercials. You don't want us to gamble, but then there are (NFL-endorsed lottery scratch-off games)."

    The NFL is currently pushing for an expanded season during ongoing labor negotiations with the players union.

    "It almost seems like the more flags we throw, the more fines we dish out, we can say we're protecting the game," safety Ryan Clark (FSY) said, reflecting his opinion of the league's stance. "Now, we can have 18 games because look how we're protecting (the players)."

    Ward also predicted a team will lose a game possibly in the playoffs because an official makes an incorrect call out of fear of being disciplined by the league for not adhering to its new policy.

    "It's going to change the outcome; somebody's going to lose a game because of it," Ward said. "It's going to be a huge play in a playoff game, somebody's going to hit a quarterback or do something and the referee is going to be too scared to call it. So he's going to call it anyway so he can save his tail. He (the player) may not even get fined or not, but it will come down to the outcome of a ballgame.

    Ward's comments reflect the growing anger among the players on one of the NFL's showcase franchises. The Steelers are becoming increasingly upset over the near-weekly fines levied Harrison, a perceived lack of protection for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (FSY) and hits that are fined and penalized one week, but aren't subject to any penalty a week later.

    "We don't know what the league wants," Ward said.

    Steelers linebacker James Farrior (FSY) said the league has quickly become "the wild, wild west. We're on our own right now. There's no type of (predictable) regulation going on."

    Farrior also said NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith hasn't properly supported NFL players on the issue.

    Ward and several other Steelers players argued the NFL wouldn't hesitate to fine a player who injured the Colts' Peyton Manning (FSY) or the Patriots' Tom Brady (FSY), yet did nothing when Roethlisberger appeared to be roughed up by Buffalo's Arthur Moats (FSY) and Marcus Stroud (FSY) after being sacked Sunday. Replays of the hit appear to show Moats twisting Roethlisberger's right leg while he is on the ground.

    Neither player drew a penalty or fine. Roethlisberger, who injured his right knee and foot, wore a walking boot on Wednesday, although he said he expects to play Sunday in Baltimore.

    Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (FSY) took the unusual stance of agreeing with the rival Steelers during a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters.

    "The league has their favorites," Suggs said Wednesday. "One being in Indy (Manning) and one being with that team up north (Brady). Besides those two, everybody is fair game. Like I always said, (the Bengals') Carson Palmer (FSY) got his knee hurt in 2005, but there was no rule made. Then Tom Brady got hit in the knee and all of a sudden there is rule and possible suspensions, excessive fines. It's just getting ridiculous."

    Roethlisberger, asked about Suggs' comments, said, "He seems to know some things about the game of football."

    Despite the weekly confusion they're expressing, the Steelers won't change their playing style to adopt to the ever-shifting rules, according to Ward.

    "We're going to keep playing the way we always have been playing," Ward said. "If they fine us, they fine us. It's football. I don't care what type of rules you do, you can't protect (against) the physicality of this game. It's always going to be a physical ballgame."

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/footb...nes-ward_N.htm
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    Default Re: Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    Dec 01, 2010
    Hines Ward blasts NFL as 'hypocrites' over discipline system
    USA Today
    Sean Leahy

    Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward harshly criticized NFL officials on Wednesday in the wake of the fourth fine this season handed down to teammate James Harrison.

    Ward said NFL officials are "hypocrites" who cannot send a correct message on issues such as player safety.

    "You talk about safety but you add on two games," Ward said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

    "You talk about you don't want players to drink, but our major endorsement is Coors Light. That's all you see is beer commercials."

    [IMGR]http://i53.tinypic.com/2vng9kp.jpg[/IMGR]Harrison was fined $25,000 on Tuesday for an illegal hit on Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick two days prior. It raised his total amount of fines this season to $125,000.

    The linebacker and former Defensive Player of the Year vowed he would appeal, and again defended himself and maintained his innocence.

    "The way I play there is nothing wrong with it," Harrison said. "I am not playing dirty. I am not doing anything outside the lines.

    "I am sure if you ask 10 guys in the league, I am sure eight or nine of them are going to say that he's not a dirty player and he's a hard player and that's he's just getting a bad rep right now."

    Ward is the latest player to complain about the NFL's discipline process. Chicago Bears LB Brian Urlacher called the process "outrageous" earlier Wednesday, and Steelers S Troy Polamalu has repeatedly called for input from current players and team officials into the process.

    Ward said the league seems to be singling out players such as Harrison and its attitude seems to be to teat him "almost like you're guilty until proven innocent."

    Harrison's appeals of two previous fines totaling $95,000 were denied this week.

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell -- who strengthened the enforcement and penalties for illegal hits this season -- has said he is happy with the current discipline process that relies on league officials, including former players and coaches.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communit...pline-system/1
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    Default Re: Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    That article actually leaves out another quote from his interview that I heard on the radio. He said if the league really cared about safety they'd be forcing players to wear the safest helmets, not the ones that bring in the most money. He said there are safe helmets out there, but the league gives you the option of 3 different helmets, none of which have been proven to be the safest. It's all about money and everyone knows it.

    Ryan Clark said a lot of the same things. James Harrison sounded like he was going to go off as well, but the whole locker room started screaming every time he'd start saying something.

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    Default Re: Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
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    That article actually leaves out another quote from his interview that I heard on the radio. He said if the league really cared about safety they'd be forcing players to wear the safest helmets, not the ones that bring in the most money. He said there are safe helmets out there, but the league gives you the option of 3 different helmets, none of which have been proven to be the safest. It's all about money and everyone knows it.
    Good point... If it's all about "safety", then there should be no option...
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    Default Re: Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    Ward: 'They're hypocrites'
    By: Mike Bires
    Beaver County Times
    Wednesday December 1, 2010

    PITTSBURGH -- In the aftermath of James Harrison’s latest fine, teammate Hines Ward ripped into the NFL today.

    [IMGL]http://i53.tinypic.com/1o966e.jpg[/IMGL] “They’re hypocrites,” said Ward, the Steelers’ veteran wide receiver. “They don’t care (about) the safety of the game. If they were so concerned about safety, why are they adding two more games? That there’s something that tells it all. They don’t care about the safety of the game.”

    Ward said he and the rest of the Steelers are fed up with the NFL’s inconsistencies in the way penalties are called for questionable hits and the way the league office hands out fines for those hits.

    On Tuesday, Harrison, the Steelers’ star linebacker, was fined $25,000 his roughing-the-passer penalty in Sunday’s win in Buffalo.

    Harrison has now been fined four times this year for a total of $125,000.

    “You say one thing, you do another,” Ward continued as he criticized league officials. “You talk about safety, but you add on two games. You don’t want players to drink but (one of) our major endorsements is Coors Light. That’s all you see are beer commercials.”

    Ward’s reference to “adding two more games” is the desire of NFL owners to increase the NFL’s regular-season schedule from 16 games to 18.

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sp...procrites.html
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    Default Re: Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    Ward also predicted a team will lose a game — possibly in the playoffs — because an official makes an incorrect call out of fear of being disciplined by the league for not adhering to its new policy.

    "It's going to change the outcome; somebody's going to lose a game because of it," Ward said. "It's going to be a huge play in a playoff game, somebody's going to hit a quarterback or do something and the referee is going to be too scared to call it. So he's going to call it anyway so he can save his tail. He (the player) may not even get fined or not, but it will come down to the outcome of a ballgame.




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    Default Re: Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    An angry Hines Ward lashes out at NFL 'hypocrites'




    By John Harris
    PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Wednesday, December 1, 2010
    Last updated: 7:05 pm

    Veteran wide receiver Hines Ward is the latest Steeler to express his unhappiness with the NFL's treatment of star linebacker James Harrison.

    During his locker room criticism Wednesday that lasted more than a minute, Ward said the league's decision-makers are "hypocrites.''

    "Say one thing, and do another,'' Ward said. "Talk about safety, but you add two games. Talk about you don't want players to drink, but our major endorsement is Coors Light. That's all you see is beer commercials.''

    Responding to Harrison's $25,000 fine for a helmet to helmet hit against Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick — bringing Harrison's fines total to a whopping $125,000 as a result of four infractions this season — Ward described the league as only worrying about making money and not caring about the welfare of its players.

    "The league don't care about us anyway. We just go out there and play,'' Ward said. "If they want to take our money, it's almost like you're guilty 'til proven innocent. They take your money, then you've got to appeal it.''

    Harrison appealed his first three fines; all three were rejected by the league. Agent Bill Parise said Harrison will appeal his latest fine as well.

    Ward's response to Harrison: Why bother?

    "I've never seen an appeal ... somebody gets all their money back ... It's just a waste,'' Ward said. "Why even appeal it if you're not going to get it back?

    "That's the case with James. He's going to continue playing, and if they keep taking his money, we've got to find a way, if we can do a couple of autograph signings in the offseason, to make that money back.''

    Ward said the league sends mixed messages to players.

    "If they're so concerned about safety, why are you adding two more games? That right there tells it all. They don't care about the safety of the game,'' Ward said.

    "If they're worried about concussions ... mandate each player has a new helmet. They don't do that. They collect money from every helmet (company) that pays them enough money to get their helmets on the field. Now they have three different helmets, and none of them (are) proven that they work.

    "You say you don't want us to gamble, but you have (point) spreads. For us, as players, we just play football. Whatever the league decides to do, they're gonna do.''
    Here’s his quote about helmets. And did he ever hit a sore spot about gambling. Try to see the NFL weasel out of that one.

    POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!

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    Default Re: Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    The league doesn't really have anything to do with the point spreads being set, though. The one thing you can call the NFL on is the detailed injury reports, though. That seems like it's designed specifically for gambling.

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    Default Re: Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    Hines has said alot of dumb things but this isn't one of them. He's spot on.

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    Default Re: Angry Hines Ward: NFL doesn't care about players

    They've tried to go about it quietly — and that didn't work.

    They tried to go about it the diplomatic way — and that didn't work, either.

    Now, the Steelers and some top-named NFL players are dealing with what they believe are unfair, unjust and excessive fines in a proactive way — they are speaking out.

    And nobody is off-limits, especially following James Harrison's fourth fine over the past two months for what seemingly was a legal hit put on Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick that cost the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year another $25,000.

    Not the media, not NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and not even one of their own — NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.

    Steelers veteran linebacker and defensive captain James Farrior called out Smith yesterday for not getting involved in the NFL's fine-happy state of mind that seems to be zeroing in on Harrison, who has been fined $125,000 this year.

    "Where is DeMaurice Smith when all this is going on?" Farrior said. "He is supposed to be our leader. I haven't heard him one time. We are on our own right now. It is just one guy (Goodell) making all the rules up and doling out the fines. There is nothing we can do about it."

    So the Steelers have decided to go on the offensive.

    Normally reluctant to speak about the league and its decisions to fine players, Steelers players have decided to make their displeasures known to the public.

    "You have to talk about it," Farrior said. "We can't just keep sitting here and taking it. Sooner or later somebody is going to have to say something. We can't just keep quiet the whole time and just keep letting them bend us over and give it to us."

    Harrison has even talked to his agent, Bill Parise, about getting some outside help. Team player rep Ryan Clark called the NFLPA's senior regional director Jason Belser to ask for help with Harrison.

    "I said, 'We have to do something. We need to stand behind him,'" Clark said. "I think we need to be more vocal about the situation."

    Others have followed the Steelers' lead about expressing displeasure with how they are being treated.

    "I think it's bull the way they are doing it," Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said on "Mike & Mike In The Morning" on ESPN Radio.

    Baltimore Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs also didn't hold back his thoughts about how the league is handing out fines, especially to Harrison.

    "It is just getting ridiculous," Suggs said. "I think there is definitely some injustice."

    What the Steelers are looking for is clarity.

    One week, Harrison was flagged for hitting Jason Campbell with his full body weight but was not fined. He was fined for hitting Drew Brees with his facemask; was fined for hitting what the NFL termed a defenseless receiver in Mohamed Massaquoi; and was fined for hitting Fitzpatrick with the crown of his helmet.

    "I think the NFLPA can be instrumental in getting us that clarity," Clark said.

    Harrison thinks the NFLPA might not be able to help, either.

    "It's starting to look like it's OK to cheat, it's OK to fight, but if you hit somebody too hard, we're going to fine you a whole bunch more than the other two," Harrison said. "Maybe it's because I play for the Steelers, who knows?"

    Harrison, as well as others in the locker room, believes that speaking out to the media is the only way things will start to change.

    "The media, y'all control what goes on, y'all are like puppet masters, and y'all control the puppets," Harrison said. "If y'all say that they're doing wrong, and the media starts to say this more and more, then I think things will start to change. Until y'all do something about it I don't think nothing's going to change."
    Not sure where this written. Was sent to me and I'm too lazy to look it up. This whole thing is becoming such a distraction that I believe it is having a major effect on the players and could possibly ruin this season.

    POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!

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