Why should we care if playing in the NFL has long time health problems?

Why should we care if playing in the NFL has long time health problems? Nobody seems to care too much that working in a coal mine is dangerous so what’s so special about the NFL? Isn’t digging subway tunnels and tunnels for highways one of the most dangerous jobs around? What about crabbing and logging? (also, are the jobs I mentioned really that dangerous… did I make the wrong examples?)

87 Deceased NFL Players Test Positive for Brain Disease

Nobody deliberately causes coal mine accidents for their own entertainment, do they? Well maybe people should feel similarly disconcerted by the idea of having college students cause themselves brain damage to give you something to watch on the weekend.

Human civilisation cannot exist without doing things that might fail and cause harm, but that does not mean we should go looking for new ways to cripple ourselves for shits and giggles.

We should care because no one should have to die or have their life shortened to bring us things. That goes the same for working in a coal mine or playing football.

In fact there is a whole federal department that looks after the safety of mines (mine, safety and health administration) and mine workers so we are no where near as worried about football players as miners. The reason its in the news is that we’ve only recently (kind of) discovered how bad concussions are for you. No one really cared that an explayer couldn’t walk when they were fifty but now we’ve discovered that they’re losing their minds too its a bigger deal.

Yeah but we don’t really need to eat crabs, do we?
What about stunt men in movies? Isn’t that a dangerous job just for entertainment?

OK, good point.

My bias is admittedly selfish. I like watching football. If you removed the violence it wouldn’t be fun to watch any more. That is basically what the all star game is like nowadays. Nobody on that game is willing to risk injury for a meaningless game that does not affect their pocketbook and does not get them to the Superbowl. They play it very hands off and it is very boring to watch.

I guess I have some jealousy too, “why pity a millionaire”.

Probably I need to adjust my opinion but really I just like watching football too much to see it turned into a non contact sport.

I agree with your points… changing my mind may still be difficult. I know form a POV of caring for other people, which I should do, that sounds bad.

Why are you saying that nobody cares about coal mines or subway tunnels or any other dangerous work? If OSHA was dismantled, you better believe a lot of us would be protesting in the streets.

Surely you can see the difference between coal mining, tunnel-digging, and entertainment. Modern civilization rests on a plentiful supply of fossil fuels. Transportation infrastructure is vital for commerce and public safety. Roofing is dangerous work, but people need to have a roof over their head.

No one needs to watch a bunch of guys dressed up in funny uniforms, running around a field.

IDK… look, maybe it is bad to say but I think there is something primal/important about guys being able to watch violent sports. Perhaps (honestly) that is the wrong view for me to have or grossly inaccurate in some other way. I promise I am not trying to be rude but I am not sure if a female can fully appreciate that. I also know that sounds bad so I apologize for saying that.

I think you are correct no one should HAVE to but I think football players choose to. A lot of people choose dangerous jobs and non job activities. Don’t feel bad for any of them.

I suspect there are additional, fairly substantial changes coming in football to limit violence and its impact on long-term brain function. This may perturb many fans.

I occasionally watch some football on TV. It wouldn’t bother me a great deal if the sport reverted to touch football or even disappeared on an organized level.

Maybe it would help if weight limits were instituted, so there aren’t 320-pounders smashing into each other.

I rather get rid of football all together than have the changes made you suggest, though I think you are correct that changes are going to be made.

There are a lot of men who don’t care for American football. Like, most of the men on this planet.

Why not rugby? Or hockey? Or create an entirely new sport, where guys compete to bust each other in their kneecaps while leaving their brains alone.

Making an appeal to nature is a lousy cop-out. There are a lot of ways to get your violence fix that doesn’t involve men literally losing their minds.

Sure and most of them don’t want sympathy. Hell, I’m 32 and I’m going in for my second shoulder replacemnt due to fooball injuries here in two weeks. I don’t need pitty I traded my shoulders for a free education. From there I went to work on the oil rigs and they paid me way more then average due to the terrible hours and dangerous conditions. I don’t want pitty for that either I was well compensated.

What we need to do is the same thing we do for every other profession and that is make it as safe as possible. We ventilate mines, we disallow dangerous equipment so guys working on the rigs don’t lose their fingers as often. There is no reason that we shouldn’t figure out a way to prevent football players from destroying their brains or at least make sure they understand the risks they are taking.

Hopefully, this study and others will convince mothers everywhere to not let their boys play football at any level. The sport will die and we will all be better off.

I think you are probably right. I’m sure that if I examined a very violent sport from some other culture/country that I wasn’t already biased too or predisposed for, I’d agree with you very quickly. American football certainly does not do anything that is actually beneficial for our society.

What about my analysis of the all star game and how boring it is? Have you watched a recent all star game…

Yeah, this may very well solve the problem

Part of the issue, for me at least, is informed consent. When many of these guys started playing little was known about the long term prognosis of repeated hits and what was known was minimized. These guys made decision that may end up profoundly ruining their lives based on false info. Often poor kids with limited prospects are promised college and a career only to end up disabled and unemployable.

As a society we owe it to them to, at the very least, be truthful about the risks so they can make the best choices they can, and to minimize avoidable risks while they work for our entertainment.

Wow. You want men to bash their brains in for your amusement and women to go through childbirth from unplanned pregnancy for your sense of morality. A stand-up kind of guy.

Good point. I agree, well I sort of agree the sport was misrepresented, but part of me also says “come on!!! really??? you didn’t think doing that would have long term consequences???!!!???”

(not trying to be rude, just descriptive)

I agree with you 100% that it takes advantage of poor people with few other options, that is an important part of the conversation as well.

They are given safety gear and the tacit implication is they were being protected. What if you found out tomorrow that seat belts don’t really work? C’mon- hurtling down the road at 70 mph in a 1 ton box of steel with others hurtling around you and you thought you were safe?

Bottom line: we shoukd care because they are human beings and even if they made the choice themselves, how can you look at a life destroyed, shrug and say “oh, well”? We care because to not says way too much about the callousness and indifference of us.

We get the world we make with our attitudes and actions. I’d rather that world be more empathetic and caring than not.