Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bring out the gladiators

Found this great summary of the brain injury issues in the NFL. It helped me understand why the league might be considered liable.

Check out the reader comments. Holy cow! Many hit on individual choice. How the players aren't good for much except football. The number of comments that made this point in one way or another just blew me away. Lots of judgment here and not much empathy for the hurt players. It must feel good and powerful to issue judgments like these. Another way of feeling immortal.

As I've said before, I'm not an NFL fan. So this is not really about football. It's more about informed choices and human behavior. How much of an individual decision is it, to play football? First, think about the age of players when they make the decision. Also, the salaries and perks must blow the other options out of the water. When someone has few other career paths, isn't that an argument for caution and full disclosure? Players need to know up front what they're getting into. Living with a brain injury isn't something most people would choose. Trust me on this...

Even with the facts spelled out, we don't always make the right decision. Imagine all your friends want to go out to a fast-food restaurant. You know it's not the best dietary choice. Do you really suggest the hippie cafe with a salad bar instead? We are not designed to buck social trends. Those kinds of people get movies like Erin Brockovich made about them, they're so rare.

Many people are wondering what the game of football would look like, with limitations. Here's a New York Times article on how the sport might change. Disappointing fans, saving players and their families.

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