Mike Mitchell (Steelers Safety) had some strong words regarding hard hits and the current state of the game of football. Essentially he says that players know the risk and it is a violent sport, similar to UFC, so let them play. He also shows awareness for the opportunities that the game has provided and mentions that this game has completely changed his "family legacy."
I have been waiting for a player to say something similar for a while now and I think he hits the nail on the head and is voicing the opinion of a lot of current players (especially defensive players).
HIGHLY recommend reading or watching his comments: