Has football become too dangerous?
Evan Murray’s parents had to face any loving parent’s worst nightmare-losing their child. What severely amplifies that pain is when you don’t see it coming. There were no signs. There was no warning. They had no notice. And it seems to have come from an injury sustained during a football game. At the time of this article being written the cause of death hasn’t been determined but the narrative in every newspaper, every website or every talk show that reports this story will be the same…a young man dies from a football injury. Whether or not this is validated the question will remain-has football become too dangerous?
ESPN’s Dan LeBatard constantly brings to the forefront the conundrum that football is leaving many young men impaired in some way yet we won’t stop watching and men won’t stop playing. He also adds that it may take a death in order for the view to change regarding football. I honestly don’t know how it’ll affect sports fans but will it change the perception among mothers and fathers who let their children play? I’ve sat on the sidelines watching my nephew play pee-wee football. His helmet and pads seem to big for him and the kids usually seem to just do-see-do each other to the ground. What captures my attention more is how mothers react to watching their kids play. One mother looked like she wanted to jump out of the stands when her son took a routine hard tackle and had tears streaming down his face. Others cover their eyes when their sons get near a collision. It seems that with more information coming out on shows like GMA and the nightly news these reactions will become more prevalent. Three letters have come to the forefront of our consciousness as of late and have scared many-CTE. Those 3 letters in correlation with the deaths or suicides of NFL players’ make football seem like a sure cause for early death.
First, let me say this-my condolences go out to The Murray family and anyone else who’ve lost a child in ANY way.
I’ve played football for years and so have many of my friends. There are many ex-NFL players who call the games that are articulate and knowledgeable. This is a fact-Once you start playing this game you will never physically be the same. There are aches and pains that will only be quelled with medication. There are fingers, knees and backs that will never quite work the same…but this is also a fact-although their quality of life isn’t the same as they were pre-football…they are still alive. Tragedy does seem to come from the residual effects of concussions but the amount of deaths attributed to playing football is still smaller than what some in the media would make it seem. The NFL is making some efforts to make the game safer to play (although the fact that there are Thursday night games is sort of hypocritical to that effort). Youths are now being coached better technique and practices are being shortened. Hydration is being monitored. Yes, there are inherent dangers that come with playing this game but the death sentence narrative that some want you to believe isn’t exactly true.
This article isn’t meant to change the minds of parents-if you don’t want your kid to play the game, I get it. We need more doctors, lawyers or people to help the world in some way. That of course is more important than football…but let’s not makes this game to out to be villainous. Let’s just get the right narrative into the public eye.