I won’t lie: I’m happy to see the decrease in football across the United States. In fact, the decline has been large enough to have some high school teams disband their football sports programs.
That’s a good thing.
I don’t have anything specifically against American Football, itself… rather, I do have a problem with the obvious link to brain disease associated with repeated hits to the head (and brain).
That’s just sad because the results are catastrophic.
The risks of football have never been more apparent. This summer, researchers at Boston University said they’d found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of the 202 former football players they studied. The athletes whose brains were donated to the study had played football in the National Football League, college and even high school.
And, of course, the NFL is trying to “find ways” to encourage more kids to participate because without them their business is in jeopardy.
To me, this is such an obvious case of willful ignorance married with arrogance and deceit with the underlying motive being money. This is a business issue for the likes of the NFL and associated organizations and they’ll continue to hide the truth because it hurts their bottomline.
In fact, they’ve already paid a billion dollars in settlement (and I believe that number will grow):
After years of denials, the NFL acknowledged a link between head blows and brain disease and agreed in 2015 to a $1 billion settlement to compensate former players who had accused the league of hiding the risks.
And for the schools who are sad and complaining that it’s going to hurt their revenue numbers… I think it’s a clarion call to start getting creative with their programming.
If you have a revenue problem then you need to fix it but not at the cost of young men (and women’s) lives and their mental health and their futures.
Finally, for the parents who love football and who can’t imagine a future without it and can’t imagine their boy not playing it as part of their childhood… well, you need to wake the fuck up.
At what point do you put aside your own selfish desires and look after your kid’s future first and foremost? Do you do this after they have become disabled mentally (and physically) and then head down an even more darker path?
Time to be a grownup about all of this. It’s time to aggressively allow and accelerate the death of American football.
Don’t support it in every way, shape, and form.
Also published on Medium.