Call it the “pussification” of pro sports, call it liberal PC propaganda; I prefer to call it a fact-based opinion rooted in a healthy human tendency for empathy.
The beating Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton took in last night’s NFL season opening 21-20 loss to the Denver Broncos was hard to watch.
As someone you had money on the Broncos, I can’t say I was entirely upset to see the lack of penalty flags on Carolina’s behalf. But the NFL’s message to its officials appears to be clear: player safety takes priority — unless it’s an important game on a national stage.
In case you’re unaware, helmet to helmet hits are mostly illegal in all major levels of football.
In case you need a refresher as to why:
“I unequivocally think there’s a link between playing football and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy),” says Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist and an expert in neurodegenerative disease at Boston University School of Medicine. “We’ve seen it in 90 out of 94 NFL players whose brains we’ve examined, we’ve found it in 45 out of 55 college players and six out of 26 high school players. Now I don’t think this represents how common this disease is in the living population, but the fact that over five years I’ve been able to accumulate this number of cases in football players, it cannot be rare. In fact, I think we are going to be surprised at how common it is.”
If that doesn’t get your attention. There’s this:
“Nearly 30 percent of former NFL players will develop brain conditions like Alzheimer’s or a less debilitating form of dementia, according to a report released Friday by the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association.”
Okay so now we understand, getting hit in the head is bad for you. Football is not the only sport fighting concerns over player safety. To the NFL’s credit, at least they’re finally acknowledging the dangers associated with its sport, and have taken steps to curb them. While on the other hand, the NHL’s mouth puppet continues to be resistant, based on a technicality.
Remember those hits Cam Newton took Thursday night? Well the quarterback, himself, is a little hazy.
Imagine being faced with the decision as a parent when enrolling your child into athletics: do I want my child to play a game that could increase his/her chances of developing Alzheimer’s as an adult by 30%? It’s not difficult to see why less and less kids are playing football.
When more comprehensive studies on the connection between CTE and hockey are done, there’s a good chance hockey participation numbers will decrease, as well. More so than they already have in Canada; which is currently more likely due to financial burdens placed on hockey parents.
Fighting in the NHL is on the decline as public opinion on the matter shifts to a more logical tone. The OHL already had a mandatory suspension in place for players who fought 10 times in a season, but new this season, the threshold has been lowered to three games. It’s part of a new rules package that also cracks down on blindside hits.
See, turns out people’s brains are important.
This Sunday when you watch an NFL quarterback get his brains scrambled repeatedly before an the official throws a penalty flag, and you scream, “Penalty!? I miss the good ol’ days when real football was played”; look up the list of the 4,500 “real” football players that reached a settlement with the NFL because they’re either dead from, or suffer from concussion related debilitation.