James Harrison Hit on Colt McCoy Aftermath: NFL Pulls Photo, Hypocrisy Reigns

John DurstCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08:  Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns lays on the ground while speaking to athletic trainers after a helmet to helmet hit from James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 8, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

I came across an article on FOXSports.com that reported the NFL took a photo down from their online store that showed a concussed Colt McCoy on the Cleveland Browns bench right after Steelers linebacker James Harrison delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on the young quarterback.

Here is a quote from said article:

"The NFL quickly removed a photo of concussed Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy from its online store after the sports website Deadspin reported Wednesday that the photo was available for purchase.

"The photo depicted a dazed McCoy being tended to by trainers following a crushing hit by Steelers linebacker James Harrison."

Last season, the NFL said it would not sell photos of illegal hits amid a crackdown to reduce helmet-to-helmet collisions.

"McCoy sat out two plays and then went back in the game. He was later found to have suffered a concussion on the play."

First of all, this wasn't a photo of a helmet-to-helmet hit. It was a photo of a player who clearly had no business being back on the field two plays before he went back onto the field.

Second, the photo wasn't taken down until Deadspin.com ran this article:

"While the NFL in 2010 banned the sale of photos depicting plays that resulted in discipline, that same restriction doesn't apply to the aftermath of said plays, as this image is available for purchase from the NFL in a variety of sizes and framing options."

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on prior to the NFL International Series match between Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium on October 23, 2011 in London, England. This is the fifth occasion where a
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Thirdly, the NFL didn't "outlaw" the sale of photos depicting dirty hits in 2010 until the media pointed out that the NFL was hypocritical in their stance on dirty hits, as they claimed to be all for player safety while simultaneously profiting from the sale of photos/videos of said vicious hits.

It appears to me that the NFL is more interested in squeezing every last dollar out of anything they can squeeze one out of, regardless on their "stance" on player safety. The NFL didn't take down any of these photos until a third party pointed out their hypocrisy.

It gives the appearance that they themselves see nothing wrong with profiting off of rule violations. It's not until they get called on their devious ways that they take the "high road."

It seems to me that perhaps the bigger reason for this sudden concern over player safety is just a cleverly disguised way to profit more off of the NFL workforce.

Not only can the league fine players for these "vicious hits," but it will also benefit from players possibly lasting longer in the NFL so that they can continue to fill seats for an extra couple of years—which equals out to a couple more years of taking the physical strain that professional football puts on the player's body.

On top of all of that, the NFL feels it necessary to milk an extra dollar or two out of the trafficking of the very plays that they outlaw. At least, that is, until they get called out for it.