What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of brain trauma? or even a head or neck injury? Some may say car crash, military maybe, we mostly link brain injuries with a major accident that has happened in our lives. When did football, something we have been doing for decades, find its way into this conversation? I have a strong opinion on the topic but I encourage you to give me yours because I don’t know if there is a one answer to my next question. Is football really as dangerous as the media has said it is?
So have major injuries really skyrocketed or is it all in our heads? If you follow the NFL then you know that they went to court and settled with a number of players from the 80’s and 90’s for millions of dollars(I think ballpark 6700 million). To me I cannot believe the players won this court case.Basically, a review of this case is the NFL agreed to pay all medical bills, research, and pain and suffering to over 18,000 players. I understand some of these retired players suffer from dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s and they are claiming it’s completely the NFL’s fault. They had accused the NFL of hiding the dangers of concussions and teams rushing players back from these injuries because they were making a killer profit from all the crazy hits and “highlight reel” plays. The NFL has denied these accusations from the start saying that safety is their number one concern and always has been. Some of the bigger name athletes involved in this case include Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, Jim McMahon, and the family of Junior Seau who recently committed suicide. The settlement agreement made it so the max a player could get was 5 million and that was if they had Alzheimer’s disease, 4 million for players who were diagnosed with a brain conditioned called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Also any player diagnosed with dementia would be awarded 3 million. One condition the NFL had under these agreements was that they would not have to disclose internal files about what they knew, and when about concussion-linked brain problems.
So recently the NFL has made rule changes about kick offs, and where you can hit a player, and protocols to make the players and coaches more aware. Which is great and I am glad they have but let’s be honest, are you saying the players had no idea what they were doing to their bodies? You had no idea that these absolutely massive hits that bring you to the ground and cause you to see stars or go limp were actually doing long term damage? When you as a player in the NFL decided to sign a contract, which is worth MILLIONS of dollars I think you are completely aware of all the risks involved. I understand everyone wants to play and the doctors can give you their expert opinion but who knows your body better than yourself? Nobody. So when you’re sitting there hurting and can’t think straight maybe you should listen to the doctor and not play. Nobody is putting a gun to these players head saying you must absolutely play or you’re dead. Each and every player has a choice and our surrounded by the best personal trainers and doctors we have to offer in this country. I guess my point I am trying to make is that once you sign the contract, that is showing you understand the risk and you need to tell the team when you’re ready to go and when you’re not ready. While your a player I do believe you should have full medical coverage,but to say the NFL is at fault for about one third of the 18,000 retired players medical problems I think is silly. Unless the NFL made them play, or hid X-rays or medical information from these players I think it’s not their fault.
What do you think the rule should be? Do you think what I am saying is right? Or completely off and idiotic? We all love the sport and are glued to the television every year, and I absolutely hate seeing players go down with injuries, but at the same time they do know the risks and opted to play. It’s a touchy subject, and I am interested in learning more! That’s all for now, I look forward to hearing from you!