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“Forever forward football” is the site’s slogan. Looking back, of course, doesn’t fit the league’s safety-obsessed narrative. Not when almost a quarter of all retired players are suing.

So, the men in the maroon blazers stood on the sideline, stuck between the field and the league. The game can be made safer for the present, but how do you reconcile the past?

The men left FedEx Field after Sunday’s game, but they’re not going away.