Super Bowl LVI significantly changed after Odell Beckham Jr. was lost for the game due to a knee injury after his leg was caught on the SoFi Stadium artificial turf. Beckham, who had two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown on three targets, was dominating the league championship game before the injury.
Not only was Beckham unable to play for the rest of Super Bowl LVI, but he has to worry about his future after suffering what is expected to be another torn ACL to the same knee he injured last season while on the Browns, according to CBS Sports NFL insider Jason Las Canfora. Beckham’s injury caused NFL players, current and former, to eliminate the use of field turf at stadiums.
Of course, the $5 billion SoFi Stadium is one of them.
There’s a lot of support for natural grass fields, but what is the “Flip The Turf” campaign? Half of the league’s teams play on artificial turf, which is why players are pushing for change. There are statistics in the campaign to back up why fields should switch from turf to grass.
In the petition, turf fields have:
- 28% more non-contact lower body injuries.
- 32% more non-contact knee injuries and 69% more non-contact foot and ankle injuries occurred on turf.
- Turf can get up to 60 degrees hotter than natural grass, increasing the rate at which toxic gases are released and ingested.
There are also environmental issues behind the campaign:
- Currently, turf can’t be recycled in the US, leading to an estimated 330 million pounds of landfill waste each year, and microplastics in our water and irrigation systems.
- On average, one turf field requires over 440,000 pounds of petroleum derivatives. The production of which emits carbon, creates fossil fuels, and contributes to global warming.
- Unlike grass, turf does not cool the environment. It does not filter air and water pollutants. It does not fix carbon dioxide or release oxygen. Turf has zero climate benefits.
Players are pushing for change. perhaps Super Bowl LVI may be the breaking point.