Football and Concussions

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When I noted another headline on the NFL and the “concussion argument,” I was quickly ready to turn the digital page until I saw a link to this story about helmet maker Riddell with this quote popping out at me.

On April 11, a Colorado state-court jury found Riddell partly at fault for failing to warn players adequately about the danger of concussions.

That’s like saying a parachute manufacturer failed to warn its customers about the danger of jumping out of planes at 13,000 feet. This whole argument, as presented in this recent Bloomberg article, is just one of many reasons I have become disengaged from professional sports, and especially football. In spite of the evils of the NFL as an organized racket, the whole concussion affair has been elevated beyond the ridiculous by men who are lured by the high salaries, excitement, and celebrity distinction of professional football and thus choose to risk their brains and bodies in a sport where 300+ pound gazelles are spearing and drilling each other at top speed, with force of impact being the end goal. Here’s the viewpoint of Barry Sanders, a favorite of mine in his day.

Barry Sanders, a 10-time Pro Bowl running back, said on ESPN that, at least in the NFL, players know the hazards. Sanders retired after the 1998 season. His son plays on the Stanford University team. “It’s physical. There are no guarantees,” Sanders said. “No one is forced to play, and all you can do is explain what the dangers are and, like any other sports, you let kids and young men make their own decisions.” Common sense from a Hall of Famer.


7:48 am on September 1, 2013