In a bold move, Lloyd Howell, the newly appointed executive director of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), is demanding that teams scrap their artificial turf surfaces and replace them with natural grass. Howell’s call for the switch comes in the wake of a devastating injury suffered by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during a game on Monday night.
The new executive director of the NFL Players Association, Lloyd Howell, is pushing for all NFL teams to replace their artificial turf surfaces with natural grass. Howell believes that the switch could prevent unnecessary injuries and increase player safety. His call for change has gained support from players like David Bakhtiari, who have witnessed firsthand the consequences of playing on artificial turf.
Concerns over Player Safety
With the NFLPA now under Howell’s leadership, he wasted no time in making his stance known. In a stern statement issued on Wednesday, Howell emphasized that moving all stadium fields to high-quality natural grass would be the “easiest decision the NFL can make.” He argued that not only do the players overwhelmingly prefer grass surfaces, but the data also shows that grass is inherently safer than artificial turf.
Howell acknowledged the potential high cost involved in changing the playing surfaces, but stressed that there is an even greater cost to the league if it continues to lose its top players to unnecessary injuries. He pointed out that this is an investment worth making for the future of player safety.
A Possible Solution through Soccer Stadiums
In discussing the feasibility of the switch, Howell mentioned that several stadiums will be transitioning to natural grass when they host World Cup games or large exhibition soccer matches in the near future. This suggests that the necessary infrastructure and expertise are already available to make the change, making it a viable and timely option.
“This is worth the investment and it simply needs to change now,” Howell asserted. It is clear that he is determined to address the issue head-on and ensure that player safety remains a top priority for the NFL.
Support from Former Teammates
Howell is not alone in his call for the switch from artificial turf to grass. Former teammate of Aaron Rodgers, David Bakhtiari, expressed his frustration on Monday night after Rodgers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury on artificial turf. Bakhtiari questioned why more players have to get hurt on artificial turf and urged the league to “do better.”