Luke Fritz, offensive lineman from your Winnipeg Blue Bombers, joined us to discuss the violent hits in football (Big Hits & Concussions, originally aired October 25, 2010). Catch the entire interview below:
Fritz, a 9 year CFL veteran, doesn’t believe football hits have gotten significantly more violent in recent years. “I think the biggest difference is the players and the coaches and the league are just more aware of the after effects of all of these hits.”
When asked about the responsibility of the players to minimize the excessively violent hits, Fritz commented “it’s hard for players to police themselves on issues like this. Guys are going to go as hard as they’re legally allowed…this is their job, this is their livelihood.” Fritz added that enforcing measures to control these types of hits should not lie with the referees as they, “…have enough on their plate and they just need to focus on certain things. I think [these types of hits] have to be reviewed after-the-fact, especially when you’re trying to rule on intentions because … that’s the main thing you’re trying to rule on, is if whether or not they’re intending to injure or hurt the person that’s coming across from them.” Fritz added that the game is too fast for referees to be able to consider intent of the hit and punish it on the field.
We discussed who should make the decision on whether or not a player should be able to return to a game after receiving a concussion. “That has to be the trainers decision, not the players or coaches. Players are trained to be gladiators and [they’ll] play through pain and coaches just want to win.”
Luke Fritz explained his involvement in the CFL’s Pepsi Refresh Project. Pepsi is generously donating $50,000 to one charity in Canada. Essentially, each CFL team has a player representative chosen by the CFL and CFLPA that chooses a charity which they would like to raise money for. Fans then go to the CFL web site and vote for their favorite player or cause and Pepsi will donate the money to the charity chosen by the player with the most votes. Luke Fritz is the Bombers representative and has decided to promote a program run by Winnipeg Harvest called ‘Hunger for Hope. This program helps to provide formula for infants all over Manitoba.
Go to cfl.ca/pepsirefresh to vote. You can vote 4 times a day from the same computer everyday up until October 28, 2010, when the first round of elimination will occur. Go check out the site and put in some votes!