NFL Players Association calls Bengals’ field ‘unsafe,’ wants immediate replacement

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is calling on multiple stadiums, including Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium, to replace their fields due to unsafe turf.

The ask comes after NFLPA President JC Tretter wrote a letter to the NFL on Nov. 12. The NFLPA is the union for all players in the NFL.

In the letter, Tretter calls on multiple ways the league and stadiums can improve conditions for players’ health and safety. His main point included the modification and ban of “Slit Film Turf” in the seven NFL stadiums that currently use it — which includes Paycor Stadium.

Slit film turf “has statistically higher in-game injury rates compared to all other surfaces,” Tretter said. Other than slit film, there is monofilament and dual fiber turfs.

Monofilament turf is single blades of grass. Slit film includes slits in the individual blades. Dual fiber is a mix of the two different types.

Tretter said slit film turf leads to an increased amount of non-contact injuries, missed time injuries, lower extremity injuries and foot/ankle injuries.

Other than Paycor Stadium’s field, fields for the New York Giants, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts all have slit film turf.

Both the NFL and its experts have also agreed that the slit film field is less safe, Tretter said.

“Player leadership wrote a letter to the NFL this week demanding the immediate removal of these fields and a ban on them going forward, both in stadiums and for practice fields,” Tretter said.

Tretter said the NFL has refused the immediate removal of the fields, and the league has refused to ban the use of slit film going forward.

“The injuries on slit film are completely avoidable — both the NFL and NFLPA experts agree on the data — and yet the NFL will not protect players from subpar surface,” Tretter said.

Other than turf modifications, the NFLPA also called on the NFL to no longer allow games to be played on fields with visual abnormalities and for players to raise field standards and test the safety and performance of all fields. Lastly, Tretter called on the NFL to clear excess people and equipment from sidelines.

“The NFL has an obligation to provide the safest work environment possible,” Tretter said. “They are not living up to that standard.”

WCPO is a content partner of Cox First Media.

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