Vince Williams Calls Out NFL For Scheduling Pittsburgh Twice On Thursday Night: ‘I Think The NFL Hates The Steelers’

Though Vince Williams no longer plays in the NFL, he probably winced when he saw the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2023 schedule. For the first time, the league is permitting teams to play up to a pair of Thursday night games in a season and the Steelers drew the short end of the straw. They’ll host a pair of TNF games this season, Week 9 versus Tennessee and Week 14 versus New England.

Williams took to Twitter Saturday morning to to slam the NFL for allowing it to happen in the first place.

The reason for the league’s Thursday night expansion likely comes from a desire to have the most marquee games on television with its Amazon partners, who were stuck with a slate of games last season that ranged from “terrible” to “so bad it’s actually kinda good.” The NFL doesn’t hate the Steelers. They’re just a strong primetime draw who have good odds of playing a competitive game. Pittsburgh is far from the only team twice on that short-week list, joining the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Washington Commanders, Green Bay Packers, and San Francisco 49ers.

Team President Art Rooney II voted against the league’s proposal to flex Thursday night games but was open to the idea of having teams play two Thursday night games per season.

“I supported having teams be able to play two Thursday night games,” Rooney said in late March.

Players have always been against Thursday night games, even when it happened just once a season, given the hardship it places on their bodies. Playing a game on Sunday, trying to rehab, practice, and prepare to play a game on Thursday. And if you’re the road team, that means flying out Wednesday afternoon. But it makes the league lots of money as it continues to fill up the calendar, playing the first ever Black Friday game this November in what will likely become an annual tradition.

The tiny bit of good news for Pittsburgh is both of its Thursday night games this season are at home. And the games that precede them are also at home, meaning the Steelers won’t have to travel during that week. Still, especially for veteran players, it might be the hardest part of Pittsburgh’s schedule and Williams clearly isn’t a fan of what the NFL is doing.

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