Masculinity In Sports Analysis

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On Any Given Sunday injuries happen just as they do in any other sport that either has

unintentional or intent contact. The NFL concussion issue has been a lingering topic of

conversation since the late 80’s early 90’s when retired players began making complaints on

their mental state and issues with life after the Game. The most popular case was the body found

of Mike Webster, a 17 year pro for the Pittsburg Steelers. Football is a sport of toughness and

durability with only a few regulations and rules that have been and will continue to be enhanced

as the league progresses. The NFL is the only and biggest brand of football besides college

where the professional athletes get confiscated for performance. In this recent decade, player’s
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Zach Furness in his article “Reframing concussions, masculinity, and NFL

Mythology in League of Denial “gives an in depth analysis on why and how come the NFL

continues to deny its concussion crisis with an objective paradigm of masculinity.

Masculinity is defined as manliness and strength which all NFL players are supposed to

possess as viewed by the public. The NFL’s denial of concussions is based on the hegemonic

masculine theory that normalizes the violence of the game and the nature of men. To break down

the “hegemonic and masculinity in sports media” (pg.50) first there needs to be an understanding

of the expectation of football players especially those in the NFL who are paid to perform. The

players understand the game that they play and why they play. Masculinity is a trait that men

possess but some women do as well. The NFL sees its players as gladiators and tough guys

which is why the Linemen on opposing teams battle in what is called the “trenches” to stick that

stigma of toughness. It’s almost like the League is saying you have to be a man’s man to play in

the NFL which pays dividends in the stature and size of players in which are drafted and praised.

Breaking down the NFL through masculinity with an objective paradigm is a
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The goal of Furness was to show that

the NFL’s denial was because of the perception that players are viewed by not because they

might and will lose revenue. In the documentary League in Denial “the cultural dynamic is one

of the focal points of the film’s dedicated segment on media and the marketing of NFL violence”

(pg.54). I don’t agree with the objective paradigm of masculinity because the NFL and athletes

shouldn’t be defined by their profession to all be masculine. The method used in this essay was

an analyzation method in the breakdown of the NFL concussion crisis and the PBS production

League of Denial. From my perspective it should’ve been a rhetorical analysist in finding the

flaws in the documentary and its accuracy relating to today’s game.

With many rule changes and progressive steps to prevent concussions the NFL knows

there’s an issue but to make that issue the main focal point of what already is known to be a

violent game isn’t rational. Brain injuries and concussions happen in every sport, the NFL is
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