NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The NFL Players Association wants the league to switch all its fields to natural grass, calling it “the easiest decision the NFL can make.”
Executive director Lloyd Howell issued a statement Wednesday morning saying NFL players “overwhelming prefer it and the data is clear that grass is simply safer than artificial turf. It is an issue that has been near the top of the players’ list during my team visits and one I have raised with the NFL.”
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The players’ union called for the change less than 48 hours after a season-ending injury to four-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon in his debut with the New York Jets on Monday night.
Howell said in his statement they know there is an investment to making such a change. But he said there’s a bigger cost to the NFL if the league keeps losing its best players to “unnecessary injuries.” He noted the NFL flips surfaces to grass for World Cup or soccer exhibitions.
“But artificial surfaces are acceptable for our own players,” Howell said. “This is worth the investment and it simply needs to change now.”
Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium switched to artificial turf in 2006 – a decision that has long been the source of criticism.
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