Earlier today Andrew gave us his thoughts on the “fake injuries” from last night’s Giants’ victory over the Rams. I do agree with him that it’s a part of the game, and not just in football. You name the sport, baseball, basketball, hockey, and most definitely soccer, and you see people faking injuries all the time.
Yes, it’s a part of the game. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it. But, whether players fake injuries or not isn’t the real question. The real question is what do we do about it?
Andrew briefly touched upon that in his article today when he said:
What should be done about it? I haven’t the first clue… perhaps it’s all part of the game?
We, as fans, aren’t the ones who should be deciding what needs to be done to players who are caught faking injuries. It’s up to the league to do so. But the hard part is determining whether or not someone is faking an injury. Yes, sometimes it’s blatantly obvious that an injury is fake but that’s not always the case. What if Deon Grant was actually hurt last night and an official had stepped in to do something about it, either by ejecting him from the game or giving the Giants a 15-yard penalty?
It’s not in the official’s job duties to gauge whether a player is injured or not. They’re not team doctors and don’t have the qualifications to determine, within a matter of a seconds, the severity of a player’s injury.
The only real answer that I can think of, even though I said earlier it’s not our duty to figure this out, is to fine a team after they’ve been investigated for faking an injury and even then it’s still as hard to prove as tampering.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said as much when contacted by ProFootballTalk regarding the issue. He said a team could face a fine for faking an injury but only, “if it could be proven.” That’s where the issue lies. A team could cover up the false injury by saying he really was injured and list it on the injury report or to tell the player not to admit to any wrongdoing.
This is the money quote from Aiello in PFT’s story:
It’s not a judgment call (‘We think or decided they were faking.’) You would need clear evidence, meaning an admission.
If the only way to fine a team for faking an injury is for that team to admit to faking said injury then no team will ever get fined for it. We probably wouldn’t even be talking about this right now if it weren’t for how obvious Grant’s fake injury was.
I imagine this story will blow over until the next player fakes an injury and even then it won’t matter. The league is almost powerless to do anything about it and no really cares that much because everybody else does it.