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Bounties seen as player safety issue

Posted Mar 6, 2012

As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell continues to investigate, the issue of bounties, i.e., players being rewarded for hits that knocked opponents out of games, has become the sport’s hottest topic. Some current and former players and coaches have offered the opinion that bounties are no big deal and are prevalent throughout the league, while others see the issue as critical to player safety.

Count Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert among the latter.

“My position is the position of the (Steelers) organization,” said Colbert. “Never, ever would we condone anything like that.”

In an era where player safety and concussion awareness are at the forefront, Colbert said injuring another player intentionally does not belong in the game.

“To intentionally set out to injure another player, there’s absolutely no room for that in our game or any other game,” said Colbert. “Especially in the climate we are in where we are learning about the concussions and the severe lifetime problems that can occur in a normal course of our game or any other sport. To go out and try to intentionally injure somebody, there is absolutely no room for that in our game.”

Colbert said the Steelers monitor things like that, mainly by keeping their eyes and ears open to what is happening.

“You always think that you’re ahead of it, but you don’t know for sure,” said Colbert. “You always want to make sure that your own house is in order, and we are comfortable that our house has been in order. If we are going to say this is something we wouldn’t tolerate, hopefully we wouldn’t violate it as well.”

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