Football is an all American sport that has led to the downfall of many great athletes who have suffered from the sport in a psychological and physical manner. Football is a dangerous sport that is only played by one country, the U.S.A. Realistically, banning the sport is almost near impossible, but there should be regulations to the sport if that people would have to meet in order to insure safety and knowledgeable facts about the sport. Football is not meant for children, the players should have a full understanding of the game and of the danger that it can entails.
If a child would like to play football, the child should at least be fourteen years old, and at fourteen years old, the children must watch a film that fully describes and informs the participant of the dangers of football and the effects it can have on the brain and on the body. Football can start at a very early age, children as young as five are playing the sport in a league with other children where they beat, push, and knock down other children their age. This is very problematic and dangerous to the child’s long-term memory; the brain of an average person does not fully develop until the person is at least twenty years old. When children begin to beat each other at a young age, they are starting the decaying process of their own brains. Concussions are always trying to be avoided during games, but the pre-concussive hits are just as concerning and alarming as concussions. Football players who have never had concussions are now being diagnosed of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
CTE is a degenerative brain disease that is caused from repeated constant head trauma. If children begin playing football as early as five years old, they will begin the process of CTE. Violent games are not suitable for children, at five years old, violence and aggressiveness should not be a priority of a child, and school and education should always be their top priority. If adults choose to play this sport, the NFL needs to accept and admit that football is a violent game and that it can cause long term damages to the brain and body. The NFL refutes the arguments about CTE and long term damaging effects football has on the brain by stating there are fully aware of the risks. Football players report that it is their choice to play football and that they are fully aware of the risks that are in play. However, concussions are the breaking points to a damaging mind, football players often confess to playing a game injured and from suffering a concussion while playing.
For example, Richard Sherman explains in the article, “Why We Chose the Profession”, that due to a concussion; he was left blind for half of an entire football game. However, he goes on to state that if he had taken himself out of the game, that the legend of the boom would never have been born, this was when he had his first in game interception. Another player who once raved and bragged about the sport was Junior Seau. Junior Seau was one of the greatest football players in the NFL, he was a legend and he too “fully understood” the risks and dangers of playing in football. He once bragged in a documentary about the perfect tackle, and how he understood that due to the love he had for the sport, his life would be shorten and that he would have limited mobility. However, he did not once ever consider that the sport would cause him to have irrational mood swings, suffer from depression and eventually cause him to take his own life.
Football players claim to be fully “informed” of the sport and understand the consequences it can have on their lives, but the NFL is withholding serious information that players are finding out when it is too late. If a person chooses to play the sport, then they must fully understand the fame, the consequences, and discuss with their families, families can fall apart just as easily as the players mind and body. Football is known to cause CTE, but there are other long term damaging effects that players have still not been informed of by the NFL. Football has been detected to cause early signs of Alzheimer, Dementia, and physical disabilities. According to the article, “Study: No Proof that Football Causes Alzheimer’s or CTE” was posted in the Cincinnati Bengals, the NFL had a $765 million settlement with retired football players that claimed that they were not fully informed of the risks that came into play when they ran onto the field.
Once football players heard of the first few cases of CTE that were diagnosed in retired football players, the players began wondering if the NFL was aware of the causes of football and the long term effects it had on the players. The NFL had also denied all the claims of the relation from CTE, Dementia, and Alzheimer to football. However, the NFL later revealed a study conducted by themselves that later revealed that football had caused early cases of Dementia, a brain disease that could have been avoided if the NFL had bother sharing the information with their teams and coaches. The NFL however eventually denied their own study as well. In time, the NFL attempted to share information about precautions they were taking in order to ensure the players safety. In pamphlets they distributed to players, they attempted to underplay the dangers of concussions by stating that concussions cannot cause any type of long-term damage.
The NFL also conducted their own study, in which they concluded that if a football player endures a concussion in the middle of the game that the player could return to that same game even play in the game where he experienced the concussion. The NFL conducted their own research and discovered the damaging effects of football and the toll it has on the body, and now that players are taking action against the NFL, they are denying the accusations and ignoring their repercussions that have been waiting for them for much too long. Football is a sport, nothing more, and yet it can change a person’s life severely.
If a person chooses to play the sport, knowing the facts, the diseases, and the immobility they can endure later in life, then they should be allowed to play. Football is a dangerous sport, people can choose to play or choose to live, but that is a choice when a player decides to walk onto that field or when they decide to walk off that field. It is an American tradition that should not be banned, but it should be limited. This is a game with a lot of fans, and yet many of them who follow the sport have no idea of the football players that are suffering because of it, which is the real shame. Play football, but know the risks.
Gladwell, . “Offensive Play.” Gladwell.com. N.p., 19 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2014. Sherman, Richard. “We Chose This Profession.” The MMQB. N.p., 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.