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Vikings S Sendejo wears 'Make Football Violent Again' on hat

At training camp in Eagan, Minn., with the rule change wearing on him, he's returning the favour, wearing a baseball cap with the words "Make Football Violent Again," a takeoff on a political theme.


Reuters Last Updated at 04-08-2018 06:16:56 IST

Minnesota Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo typically appreciates a good hit, but he doesn't like the one he believes the NFL delivered this offseason with a rule change on using helmets to initiate contact.

At training camp in Eagan, Minn., with the rule change wearing on him, he's returning the favour, wearing a baseball cap with the words "Make Football Violent Again," a takeoff on a political theme.

The rule change, controversial from the outset, quickly affected action on the field Thursday.

In the NFL's first preseason game, the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, between the Baltimore Ravens and the Chicago Bears, the rule, which prohibits a player from leading or initiating contact with the helmet under any circumstance, led to at least three penalties. Five personal fouls were called in total.

Sendejo, entering his eighth season with the Vikings after playing his rookie season with the Dallas Cowboys, says his cap, which he has had for a while, has extra meaning now.

"It fits good and it's black and I like it. It's got a good message," said Sendejo, who served a one-game suspension last season for a hit on wide receiver Mike Wallace, then playing for the Ravens.

When asked what he thinks about the new rule, Sendejo responded, "I don't." Asked about how defenders are able to respond to rule changes, Sendejo simply said, "Poorly."

Sendejo also took to Twitter later Thursday wearing a Vikings helmet outfitted with a second facemask spanning the top of his helmet, accompanied by the words, "Made helmet alterations so I'm always 'leading with the facemask.' Simplifying calls for league office and playing within new @NFL rule changes."

The rule has added this offseason as another step toward limiting concussions and major injuries.

"Basically they don't want you to use the helmet as a weapon because the helmet, when it was first brought in to the league, was for protection and now if some of the crowns of the helmet hit, it can be dangerous," head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters Thursday. "So they're trying to eliminate that from the game to make the players safer. I have no problem with that."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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