NEW York Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams said he is not a fan of some of the NFL’s measures to make the game safer and said he would “die on the field.”
Adams was a panellist Monday in a “fan forum” alongside NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the Jets’ training centre.
The topic of CTE and brain injuries came up, along with what the league is doing to protect players. Goodell outlined some of the things the league has done. When he spoke about the rule changes, Adams shook his head in disapproval.
Then, Adams shared his thoughts on the topic.
“I’m all about making the game safer, but as a defensive player, I’m not a big fan of it,” Adams said, contradicting himself. “But I get it. I can speak for a lot of guys that play the game. We live and breathe [football]. This is what we’re so passionate about.
“Literally, if I had a perfect place to die, I would die on the field. And that’s not a lie. There’s so much sacrifice that we go through as a team, and just connecting as one and winning ball games. There’s nothing like playing the game of football. But again, I’m all about making the game safer.”
Many fans in attendance cheered Adams after he said he would die on the field.
The 21-year-old was taken by the Jets in April with the sixth pick in the 2017 draft. He has emerged as an immediate starter on the Jets defence and one of the team leaders.
Goodell defended Adams afterwards, saying Adams was clearly just showing his passion.
“I think what he was really making a point of was how much loves the game and how passionate he is about the game,” Goodell said. “He loves playing it. It’s just something that means a great deal to him. I get the emotion of that.”
Goodell also said he thought the fans cheering were just showing their love of football.
“I think people understood the emotion of what he was saying, which is we love the game,” he said. “I think they love the game. I don’t think anyone took it as directly as that.”