How The NFL And The Concussions Crisis

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The NFL and the Concussions Crisis For the past two decades, the world of contact sports, particularly American football, became controversial because of the increasing attention focused on the long-term consequences of concussions. This issue would enter a tug-of-war battle between business politics and scientific evidence. The scientific evidence on the long-term detrimental effects of concussions implies that football may be too dangerous for any individual. It is only logical that the National Football League (NFL) would protect the integrity of football and everything it encompasses. However, the actions of the NFL regarding the issue are considered inappropriate and unethical. The growing number documenting the evidence of detrimental …show more content…

After having hit by the knee of a member of the opponent's team, Aikman was sent to a local hospital. When Leigh Steinberg interviewed him after the game, it seemed that Aikman suffered from an acute short-term memory loss. They kept reliving their conversation because Aikman keeps asking the same sequence of questions over and over again (Kirk League of Denial). This incident supports the idea that cognitive functions become impaired after concussions. Moreover, the occurrence of concussions in contact sports in the US varies annually ranging from 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions (McKee et al. 709-735). This high occurrence rate suggests that sports regulatory boards must come up with more systematic techniques in protecting the players from a concussion and its consequences. Furthermore, the prevalence of concussions in contact sports, especially in football, proves that the NFL should admit that concussions are a serious issue in football. The obvious short-term effects of concussions, together with the prevalence of concussions in football, must have influenced the NFL regarding how they handle violence within football. Instead, the NFL continued to market the violence in …show more content…

People actually watch the football games, and they cheer not only for the touchdowns but also for every nasty hits and collision. The popularity of the intense head collisions invaded every social group, and eventually, it became a popular jargon, i.e. knock him over, and knock him to the moon. This is a proof that violence is one of the ultimate marketing strategies of the NFL. NFL exploited the intense and violent nature of football by marketing tapes, such as "Crash Course," "Search and Destroy," and Moment of Impact" (Kirk League of Denial). Clearly, the NFL ignores the seriousness of concussions, however, a turning point occurred from the discovery of the Webster's brain autopsy. Dr. Bennet Omalu, who conducted the autopsy of Mike Webster, found the first scientific clue regarding the long-term effect of concussions in football (Kirk League of Denial). Upon investigating Webster's brain tissues, Dr. Omalu found collections of tau proteins, a definitive sign of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE is best characterized by the lifelong progressive deterioration of cognitive functions with an environmental etiology (McKee et al.

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