Football is not for the faint of heart, and lately concerns have been mounting about the safety of all who play the game. The NFL would like for us all to believe that they are taking the necessary precautions to make the game safer, yet it seems that every time they take a step forward in player safety, an incident brings them two steps back. For example, remember the vicious hit on Texans quarterback Tom Savage that left him in a near-seizure state? He was actually allowed to come back in that game, in a system that failed him.
The Tom Savage (Red number 3) incident which is referred to in the second tweet above. Showed clear fencing response (both arms go rigid), is a clear visible sign a concussion occurred. Yet he was allowed to play on.pic.twitter.com/nJpacrl4dB
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) January 25, 2018
Another bleak sign of the future of tackle football, is the growing concern of letting children play the game that is becoming increasingly dangerous. Some lawmakers are taking the decision out of parents’ hands by introducing bills to not even allow children under the age of 14 to play that “version” of the game. Recently, lawmakers in New York, Illinois, and now Maryland have introduced actions to take precautions for the future of young athletes.
— WTOP (@WTOP) February 5, 2018
In a sport that becomes faster and more dangerous each and every year, it’s hard to blame lawmakers for wanting to take drastic actions towards protecting the long-term health of young athletes. Other recent injuries that come to mind are of star Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, Ryan Shazier, who had a severe spinal injury that occurred on the field of play due to a vicious hit. Shazier was lucky to not have been paralyzed by the impact of that hit, and his prognosis has steadily improved.
Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier pictured STANDING for the first time since a spinal injury https://t.co/rcPJjwz06V
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) February 1, 2018
For many fans around the world, it’s becoming more and more clear that something needs to change in the sport of football. Whether the reasons fans are tuning out due to political reasons, CTE, or lack of interest in the sport, action needs to be taken now to ensure that this sport does not become even more barbaric than it has already evolved into. Additionally, some players are walking away from the game they love at earlier ages than we have ever seen before, as they reconsider their long-term well being over the multi-million contracts flashed in front of them to entice them to keep playing.
By the way things have been heading, I would personally not be surprised to see the sport of football either changed drastically in the NFL (flag football), or for it be banned altogether due to the growing concerns of safety for all who don a uniform. Current players are taking unnecessary risks by playing this brutal game, and as more players decide that “enough is enough,” the NFL faces a very serious problem moving forward. As much as I love watching the game of football, it is harder for me to justify that “this is what the players signed up for” as these gladiators put their lives on the line for our entertainment. This hot topic will be one to watch as the sport of football tries to make the necessary adjustments to make the sport safe for all.
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