Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy

This displays Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. The Advance CTE is common to many professional NFL players.

Certain topics in sports may never be settled. Is Messi better than Ronaldo? Did Babe Ruth actually call the last shot? However, other aspects of sports are just accepted to be true, particularly that football has become America’s favorite pastime according to Football Nation. Although recently, the sport’s popularity skyrocketed to the extreme, as that the National Football League (NFL) even owns a day of the week, controversy has arisen regarding the safety of this fast-paced, hard-hitting sport.

Whether the public is ignorant or blatantly chooses to turn a blind eye, it is evident that the game of football has been doing more harm than good. In its current state, football is an immoral and brutal game. It consists of vicious, premeditated collisions between large athletic individuals who have been active in the sport since they were able to walk. All football players are required to wear a mouthguard; however, there comes a time when a mouthguard alone can’t protect you from the carnage that results from playing the ruthless game. 

“Steve McNair Tackle” by Keith Allison licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Football player Steve McNair seen in the #9 jersey.

The evidence about the dangerous effects of playing football continues to increase. According to The New York Times, men who play football at the highest level lose, on average, three years of their life expectancy for each year they play in the NFL. The incidence of dementia in 50-year-old former football players is five times that of non-football-playing men. Numerous autopsies have uncovered the fact that players who died young show the effect of years of physical abuse caused by the sport.

While many Americans deny the obvious dangers the sport poses and continue to watch football every Sunday, there is no question that the game is extremely dangerous to the health and lives of those who play merely for our enjoyment. According to Slate, tobacco company executives have taught the public not to trust those who baldly claim no linkage between a high risk activity and physical and mental damage. This outlines the corruption big organizations create by brainwashing the public. Those who are aware and in tune with the dishonesty question what it is that they can do to endt it.

It is too simple for the American public to continue to practice the bystander effect when it comes to the game of tackle football. Many NFL owners and officials are cautious to admit it, but they know the sport is at risk, and will continue to fight a two-front war to battle bad publicity and lawsuits against their corporation. 

DoD photo by EJ Hersom
Scientists probe Traumatic Brain Injury effects at research lab

Those who preach that football is as central to the American lifestyle as apple pie and a white-picket-fence ignore dramatic changes in our culture that continue to occur rapidly. Ban cigarette smoking in public places? Require people to wear seat belts? Recycling? These “never-will-happen” things have transpired and there are many more on the way. Football kills silently, and the public seems to be accustomed and desensitised when we hear the news about a player who has become quadriplegic.

The ultimate turning point may result when society realizes the outcome of all this violence and brutality. Has the American society transformed into the citizens of Rome attending the bouts at the Coliseum? Our popular culture turns away from dog fighting but we willingly dedicate a day to the brutality of football. Has the public really become so desensitized to the carnage of the game?