49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin sat down on Monday to take part in a 15 minute Google+ Hangout with the Bay Area News Group. The Hangout was moderated by BANG's senior editor, Mark Reynolds, and provided a forum for Anquan Boldin to discuss some interesting topics, and answer questions from a few fans.
Boldin provided some details on the foundation's upcoming celebrity server event. The event will take place at Morton's The Steakhouse (I never knew there was "The" in it!). It's $400 a person, but if you've got the money, it goes to a worthwhile charity. Boldin's foundation works in Baltimore, Florida and Arizona, and is launching in San Francisco. The foundation works to give back to the underprivileged. Boldin has gotten involved in afterschool programs, sports programs buying uniforms and equipment, Thanksgiving drives and Christmas shopping sprees. The foundation provides programs to help kids who have fallen behind in school get back on track to graduate, and it has partnered with the University of Phoenix to provide full-ride scholarships.
The session opened with some discussion about player safety, and Boldin had some interesting comments about the league:
"I think the league is covering their butt, to be honest with you. I think some of the things they are implementing is for the betterment of players. Especially if guys get dinged and have symptoms of concussions, they have to go through a series of tests in order to get back on the field. They're not leaving those things in the player's hands or the coach's hands. They're taking it completely from them and leaving it with the professionals, which are the doctors. So in that aspect, I applaud them."
"But there are some things that just don't make sense to me. If you're so concerned about player safety, then why do you have every team in the NFL playing on Thursday nights, after they've just competed on a Sunday? Knowing exactly how difficult it is for guys to get back to being healthy after playing on Sunday. Guys really don't feel like they're back until probably Thursday or Friday, to get prepared for that next week. The league can say they're doing everything that they can to protect guys and safety, but I'm not one of the guys that's buying it."
The Thursday Night Football situation remains an odd situation in the movement to boost player safety. The NFL cites studies that indicate there is not an increase in injuries during the game, but I don't know that they're getting the point when it comes to the players being banged up already, heading into the game. Players are still recovering from the previous game, and even if they are not getting hurt, it can lead to what often appears to be an inferior product. Maybe it's some kind of confirmation bias, but that's how it appears when I'm watching Thursday Night Football.
Boldin also answered several questions. You can go through some of the answers in the second half of the video. The questions, in order, are:
How to be successful and sustain success?
How has time in SF made him better?
After career is over, what do you want to be known for, both on and off the field?
If you didn't play football, what would you do? What's your passion outside of sports?