There is no denying that football is a contact sport. Rules have evolved over time to better protect the players, but they still put themselves at risk with each game they play. In fact, the average football player will sustain 900 to 1500 blows to the head per season, and 162 concussions were reported in the NFL last year.
So when Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel left the game against the Baltimore Ravens on October 7 with a concussion, it wasn’t that surprising. What was surprising, however, was the fans’ reaction: cheering.
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Cassel isn’t exactly the most loved Chiefs player, and his tenure has been shaky at best. Fans have been against him since the start of the season. Some even went as far as to hire a plane to fly a banner over Arrowhead Stadium before the game calling for him to be benched.
Chiefs tackle Eric Winston decried the fans’ reaction saying players aren’t “Roman gladiators” and that it was the most embarrassing moment of his career. Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who dealt Cassel the game-ending hit, told the Baltimore Sun it was sad to hear the crowd cheering.
Coach Romer Crennel has stuck up for his team’s fans, saying that they have historically been one of the best groups of fans. They certainly have gotten their wish granted temporarily at least, as Cassel has yet to be cleared for play by the team’s medical staff.