Rams, Chiefs players reportedly strongly considering sitting out if game is held in Mexico
The field in Mexico is an absolute disaster, so the players are taking matters into their own hands
The Chiefs-Rams game was supposed to be the high point of the 2018 season. Instead, a week before the game, it's already
The game is scheduled to be played Monday night in Mexico City, but with, questions about the viability of the location have been raised. It turns out, players on both teams aren't comfortable playing on an unsafe surface.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, some players on both teams are "strongly considering" sitting out the game if it's played at Stadium Azteca. Meanwhile, Yahoo's Charles Robinson reported that players on both teams want their union to get involved by inspecting the field and deciding for themselves if the field is safe.
"It's not fair to risk our health," one prominent player told Schefter.
It's not difficult to understand where the players are coming from. What player would want to play football -- already an inherently violent and dangerous sport -- on a surface that looks like this?
Schefter previously reported that the game could be moved to Los Angeles or postponed a week since both teams are on their bye in Week 12. However, Schefter also reported that the league is "determined" to play the game in Mexico City while league spokesman Brian McCarthy said that the NFL is "working closely with the field manager at Azteca Stadium and others to ensure that we have an NFL-quality surface for our game."
As long as the field conditions remain horrible, moving the game to Los Angeles seems like a no-brainer. Nobody wants to see any player suffer an injury because of the playing surface. Now, imagine the fallout if a player like Patrick Mahomes, Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Aaron Donald (and so on) gets hurt because the NFL refused to move the game from Mexico City to Los Angeles. The Rams and Chiefs are two Super Bowl contenders with MVP caliber players. There's no reason for either team to risk their season by playing on an unsafe field.
If the NFL keeps the game in Mexico City and if players like Mahomes, Gurley, Goff, and Donald decide not to play, the game will lose all of its appeal. If the NFL keeps the game in Mexico City and a player suffers a serious injury due to the field conditions, the NFL will face serious (and deserved) criticism. If the NFL moves the game from Mexico City to L.A., they'll lose out on a chance to market their best young players on the international stage, but they'll also be making what appears to be the responsible decision.
With only six days remaining until the game is scheduled to be played, a decision should be coming soon.
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