Steelers Defender Says the Game ‘Has to Be Violent’

Mike Mitchell feels trapped in a war for football's soul.

Mike Mitchell
Ronnie Hillman #23 of the Denver Broncos runs the ball into Mike Mitchell #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Justin Aller/Getty Images)

Mike Mitchell is angry. He’s confused to the brink of being incensed. He wants people to know that his personal fouls are down over his last 50 games and that he is not just some “angry black man” for pointing out how inconsistent the NFL is with its discipline. Mitchell told Bleacher Report that the lines of the game are blurred like never before because of new guidelines on hits and tackles, which is destroying football. The Steelers defender knows all the concussion statistics and knows that a damaged brain could affect him later in life, but he says the game is inherently violent. To eliminate head trauma, you need to eliminate all physical contact. Mitchell loves the game and doesn’t want to see it changed. He thinks that the rules and regulations about hits and tackles are going to change the game into something other than football. The soul of football is changing, Mitchell said. “Football has always been a war of attrition,” Mitchell told Bleacher Report. “You must decide, at an early age, if the sport’s violence is for you.”

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