Example Of NFL Should Not Be Financially Responsible For The Players After Retirement Research Paper
I firmly believe that NFL should not be held financially responsible for players after retirement. The following essay points out the reasons why I think so. In an article in Engineering & Technology written by Mark Venables, the NFL commissioner Roger Goddell made the statement, “The studies show that if you play football, and in the NFL, that you actually live a longer life than the average male citizen who has never played football.” According to Mark Venables (2013) in Engineering & Technology: New and improved safety measures for America’s NFL stars, the study of retired players shows only one quarter of the players had any signs of head trauma. With new safety measures and rules in place along with the small numbers of players’ that show signs after retirement, I do not feel the NFL should be held responsible for payment after retirement (Venables, February, 2013).
We live in an era when many retired NFL players have blamed the league for the increase in cases of concussion-related ailments. Thousands of retirees were part of a lawsuit for a total amount of $765 million while others started individual lawsuits against specific teams. Sadly, the argument is always the same that the NFL knowingly hid the long-term consequences of caused by concussions. If players had the information beforehand they would have taken measures to protect themselves.
Surprising aspect of those accusations is that the latest survey done by ESPN.com exposes that 85% of 320 players said they would willingly play in the super bowl with a concussion. It is equally baffling that 60% of the same study subjects think that NFL is very serious when it comes to protecting their health. Those numbers indicate that a good number of players do believe that the league is doing the right things with their future in mind. The problem is that too many players aren’t taking responsibility for their health with the same seriousness as the league does. Even some men who played the game still find it hard to believe those who continue to point fingers at the league for their medical deterioration. When we learn that players are willing to chase a super ball while battling the pain of a concussion, it only reinforces of players need to call out on one another. The only way NFL can change a culture said to be too dangerous is by everyone involved taking an active role in redefining the environment.
It is no secret that pro football players always have a hard time acknowledging their limits. It is also very difficult to find players who are comfortable with accepting the potential seriousness of their injuries. They have all been brought up with the mindset that it is always best to push through whatever injuries are haunting them. It is an example of a badge of honor to them in believing that the body won’t break if the mind can endure. That’s an acceptable risk when you are dealing with a sprained ankle, but it is entirely different matter when the subject is concussions. We can only guess on how many players have had to hide their injuries to enable them to continue playing and later blamed the league.
Player safety has always been a top priority for the NFL. Since the earliest days of the league, it has always taken steps to ensure that is played fairly without unnecessary risk to the players, including making changes and enhancements to the game safety rules. Recently, the NFL has improved its playing regulations sharply to reduce contact to the neck and head of players. These modifications were made separately and in addition to the leagues longstanding prohibitions against helmet to helmet contact. One of the changes NFL is making is advancement in helmet technology. NFL is putting up millions and millions towards new research with Riddell and other companies for better helmets.
After quarterbacks Jay Cultler, Alex Smith and Michael Vick sustained concussions during the 2012 season the league reiterated their plans to have independent neurologist on the sidelines of every game. Concussion guideline mandated a four-stage protocol including examinations, treatment and monitoring of a player prior to returning to a play.
In March 2013, the NFL proposed a restriction to ensure reduction of concussions by making it illegal for a tackler to start a contact by delivering a hit with the top crown of his helmet against another player of other team when both of them are outside the tackle box. However, this was met with criticism from both current and former players. Running backs who accounted for more concussions than the rest of the players were among the loudest, complaining that the restriction would limit their ability to safeguard themselves and the ball. Criticism aside, the league officials agreed that there was importance of reducing head injuries and that the players and coaches have to adapt to the changes made.
At the start of each training camp session, the NFL distributes its league policies for players’ manual to all the players and coaches as a reference guide for the most commonly applicable league policies. Topics included in the document are player safety equipment guidelines and the Disciplinary measures for violating game-related, player health and safety rules. The above is one of the many ways the league continuously and tirelessly ensures the safety of its players. Not only for the long live of the player but also its benefits through ensuring long live of its players. It is done from the roots of the players; that is, from grade level players, high school players, college players all the way to professional sportsmen under their wing.
The NFL has appointed panels of coaches to explore ways of improving player safety. Panel members include coaches, former players, and NFL executives. The panels’ mission is taking a long-term view to making the game as safe as possible for all involved at every stage of the sport. It reviews all angles of the game inclusive of playing techniques, regulations, strategies, training methods, equipment standards and safety related studies. The panels’ formal recommendations are then submitted directly to the competition committee for evaluation and enforcement.
The NFL recognizes that safety of players cannot be promoted through interpretation of the existing rules or adoption of new legislation only and that the players on the field must assume the responsibility for ensuring safe play. In order to give further force and effect to player safety rules, the will impose fines and other discipline measures for rule violations. NFL has increased the standard of discipline required from players and enforcement for the violations of the existing rules.
In sports, prevention of undiagnosed and repetitive head injuries is of very importance in sports-related concussions. Rapid sideline testing has proven useful in the prevention of longtime effects of concussions. NFL has taken various steps to reduce the occurrence of head injuries especially concussions happening. For example, in 2011 team doctors and trainers begun using standardized sideline concussions test to check injured players. NFL hires independent athletic medical staff to monitor all games for unnoticed concussions and other injuries. The staff gets sideline access to replay instantly for injury evaluation.
All professional athletes carry risk of harm on the playground all the time. If we watered down the rules to make the game safe, we could do away with tackling and no one would get hurt. But it would be a boring game since that is exactly what the fans and players don’t want from NFL. Fans may not want to a game that is full of yellow flags, commercials, and contact alternatives. On one hand, players should be very careful, but on the other, pro footballers earn more than ten times the average citizen, they are compensated for the sacrifices they make to their bodies. That does not suggest that NFL does not protect their players. Nevertheless even if rules are changed, football is what it is, and both the fans and the players love it. The hardest part about taming the game for NFL is simply that the sport’s foundation is built on nothing else rather than violence. Most successful teams brutalize and intimidate their opponents by devouring their will.
Mouths guards have been made mandatory. For years, players are supposed to wear them always but it is widely known that players don’t follow that rule. They complain that they are both uncomfortable and that they interfere with proper breathing. Impact is also said that a hit to the jaw can lead one to develop a concussion as easily as a blow to the head.
Football is a physical sport. It is common knowledge that people get injuries when they play such sports. By reducing the hits and plays that increase concussions, one could say that the games integrity is compromised. The problem of reducing concussion injuries tend to go way deeper than installing sensors in players helmets since new technology goes hand in hand with new rules and regulations, which brings about more timeouts and hence less action. For instance, all plays are now analyzed. Before, fans felt the excitement in simply hoping their favorite quarterbacks would summon his defense and kick the ball to earn an extra point.
Although recent changes are very promising because they tend to the player welfare, one of the hugest problems is informing and educating the public. Public scrutiny is very unforgiving, especially if the fans are unaware of why the new rules are enforced. In dealing with public scrutiny, the league now provides guidelines to on how to deal with concussion-related injuries and measures taken on protecting football players.
Dabscheck, B. (2014). League of denial: the NFL, concussions and the battle for the truth. Labour & Industry, 161-163.
Goldberg, D. (2008). Cpncussion professional sports, and conflicts of interest: Why the National Football League's current policies are bad for its (players) health. HEC Forum, issue 4, 337-355.
Kindersley, D. (2000). NFL. Newyork: Dorling Kindersley publishing, Inc.
Lazarus, A. (2011). NFL concussions and common sense. A recipe for medical errors and a lesson for physician leaders. Physician Executive, 37, 1.
Venables, M. (February, 2013). New and improved safety measures for America's NFL stars. Engineering & Technolgy, 84-85.
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