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Jun 12, 2012; Alameda, CA, USA; General view of a NFL football on the field during Oakland Raiders minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Men Playing a Kids's Game


 

 

If you haven’t heard about how much of a problem concussions are causing the NFL and how it is threatening the integrity of the game,  you might want to see your physician. You may have a concussion.

The National Football League is experiencing another tough off-season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has had to deal with a war on two fronts; current NFL players balking against new rule changes to make the game safer and retired NFL players suffering maladies from their professional careers.

Lawyers representing the veteran players claim that the NFL turned a blind eye to concussions during these players tenure in the NFL. Like parents that allowed their child to play with a lighter they should be punished and made to pay out.

“The NFL must open its eyes to the consequences of its actions,” said Kevin Turner, a former running back with the Patriots and Eagles who has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The problem with this argument is that these men chose to play the game of football. They signed a contract understanding how punishing this game is and knowing that in order to fulfill it, they would have to lay their bodies on the line.

The simple truth is that these guys grew up playing football. Many of them have loved it since they were children. Some of them played in little league.

Little kids weighing under or a little above 100 lbs are not going to do much physical damage to each other. 200-300 pound men however, can do significant damage to each other. If you want to be safe you can’t play the game the same reckless way that you did as a child.

Here’s another simple truth: these guys are not kids anymore. They made their decision several years ago. They cannot extort money from the league after they enjoyed their careers and are now experiencing health problems.

Every person on the planet has a responsibility to ensure that their long term health and personal well being is secure in every activity that they pursue. They decided football was more important.

This does not mean that the NFL is right. The NFL does have a responsibility to these players but a lawsuit is not the way to tell the league you need help.

The NFL has a responsibility to make sure that NFL veterans do receive care after their career is done. They are helping to provide the popularity and success that the NFL enjoys and therefore should receive some care once they decide to hang up their cleats.

The NFL also has a responsibility to current players to protect the game. The rules and fines against helmet-to-helmet hits is justified because these players have lives after football. Just because they get the opportunity to play the game short-term, doesn’t mean they have to lose in the long run.

Protecting the integrity of the game means changing the “I don’t care how hard I am hit, I am going back in the game” mentality. Some players believe that mentality is essential to being a respected player. The game has changed however from being a tough man’s game to a smart man’s game.

We have seen it from the evolution of the game itself from primarily a tough-nosed running game to a complex aerial passing game. If the way we coach the game can change, then why can’t the way we play the game change?

 

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Tags: Concussions Kevin Turner Lawsuit Little League NFL Roger Goodell Veterans

  • larryjames836

    That is right this what the NFL pay these players to do hit hard in order to keep your job if a player not performing to the NFL standard they will be cut from the league. If all the owners and players standup for what is right then they can make the NFL pay for what it is doing Roger Goodell is trying to cover up what they paid these players to do all of this talk about pay to injury been going on in the NFL for years. Now you have all these cry babys want to play pro ball but can’t stand the pain but wants to get paid millions of dollars. Like I said concussions haven’t just started been going on most of the people’s that posting were to young to remember back years ago today NFL game is nothing compared to back in the late 60′s when players was carried off regularly. These guys sign theses contracts to do what they do for you players if you can’t handle it you in the wrong place. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell you can’t change what’s been started when you knows what its all about come on now this is a contact sport players are going to get severe injuries just pay the guys.