Some NFL players are unhappy about the new rule requiring them to wear thigh and knee pads — not because of the added weight — because they aren’t fashionable.
Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden told the Akron Beacon Journal he “wasn’t a fan of them at all,” and said the pads restrict movement and don’t look good.
“It’s a fashion thing, too,” Haden said. “It looks cool, your pants all the way slick.”
Baltimore Ravens receiver Torrey Smith told the Associated Press that when he arrived for his first day of practice with the organisation in 2011, Anquan Boldin told him “Go take your pads off. Receivers don’t wear [leg] pads in the league.”
Smith said he had no idea about the trend prior to that.
Marvin Lewis, the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, told the AP the rule change was “cosmetic, really” and said the adjustment wouldn’t be big one since players were mandated to wear the pads in youth and college football.
The league is implementing the rule in hopes of reducing injuries and league MVP Adrian Peterson, who wears leg pads for that reason, commented on players who have an issue with the rule change.
“Guys like to be pretty, not wear the thigh pads and knee pads, but it protects you. There have been plenty of times I got hit in my knee and when I had my pants pulled up too high and that pad wasn’t there to protect it. It didn’t feel good,” Peterson told NFL Evolution.
Peterson rushed for more than 2,000 yards wearing the pads last season.
The pads were mandatory in the NFL from 1979-1994 and only about one third of players wore them while they were optional.
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