Green Bay Packers star David Bakhtiari has made his stance on the league’s artificial turf abundantly clear. So much so, that rumors emerged that the All-Pro offensive tackle opted not to play on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons as a way to protest the NFL’s use of turf fields — something that Bakhtiari himself has denied.
David Bakhtiari Lashes Out at NFL Over Aaron Rodgers’ Injury
This all started when Bakhtiari saw former teammate Aaron Rodgers suffer a devastating Achilles injury in his debut for the New York Jets. Immediately, Bakhtiari pointed to the turf field as the culprit behind Rodgers’ potentially season-ending injury.
The Packers star even went as far as criticizing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for the latter’s claim that some players prefer turf over natural glass. For his response, Bakhtiari asked: “What kind of toad poison is the commish smoking?!?”
It goes without saying that Bakhtiari has some pretty strong feelings against turf. As always, he hasn’t been shy about making them publicly known.
Green Bay Packers OT David Bakhtiari, The Trail Blazer
In a recent interview, Bakhtiari shed more light on his anti-turf stance. Apparently, the three-time Pro Bowler sees himself as some sort of visionary who has been campaigning for a major change in the game — one that he believes will benefit future generations:
“There will come a point where turf, it’ll be like, ‘Damn, Dave, I’m glad he was one of the few guys who spoke about it and this is something we don’t have to deal with anymore,” Bakhtiari said, via Bill Huber of Packer Nation. “The game’s already violent enough. All I’m saying is don’t add more to it. I’m not saying you’re going to cure all injuries. No, we (expletive) collide against each other and smash against each other.
“There’s certain injuries that are going to happen, period. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that. We all know what we sign up for when we play this game. I’m just saying, we want to talk about, ‘Make the game safer.’ You want your kids to play, probably be a little bit smarter with them. If you’re already going to sign them up to go smash their bodies into oblivion, you probably don’t want to do it on hard surfaces. You want to make it a little bit easier. That’s it. That’s all I’m saying from my vantage point. For all the young guys, they’re going to be the ones to see it.”
Love him or hate him, you have to say that Bakhtiari does present a valid point here. Whether or not he will succeed in his vision, however, remains to be seen. At this point, it appears that his protests have been falling on deaf ears.
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