Lance Briggs became a seven-time Pro Bowler because he is known to hit hard and disrupt offenses. He spoke up on Twitter about the New Orleans bounty scandal.
"When will we all accept responsibilty that football is such a violent sport. Injuries, concussions, grown men launching their bodies into one another. We knew it wasn't for the faint of heart when we decided to keep playing and loving football for all that it gives ... good or bad."
"I can't even begin to tell you all the thoughts in my head upon impact with a ball carrier or opposing player. But I will say this, I may never have been in a bounty system but there's a neverending bounty in my head to hit my opponent as hard as I possibly can over and over til i seperate him from the ball or he quits or can't continue. It's the violence and the imposing ur will unto another man the I have always loved. I knew the risks, we all do. I just hope that after its all said and done, after I have finished my tour that I will be covered covered medically for life by the nfl for sacrificing my body and mind for however long I was able to give this sport I love so much my all."
What Briggs doesn't address here is the difference between playing hard and playing maliciously. Briggs plays hard. He hits hard and sometimes crosses the line set by the league, like when he was fined by the NFL for a hit on Detroit's Calvin Johnson.
But Briggs is not known to be dirty. He doesn't take cheap shots. He doesn't intend to hurt people, and that's the difference between playing hard and playing maliciously. The bounties in the New Orleans system asked for players to be hurt, which is collateral damage in football. It's not the end game.