The Ethics Alarms New NFL Season Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ex-Football Fan Steve Almond


“We know, on some level, that a good many of the players we cheer for each Sunday will be revealed as all too human when they wind up battling dementia. But… fans have a whole suitcase full of rationalizations intended to preserve our right to consume, and thus sponsor, this hyper-violent game. “The players know the risks!” we insist. “They get paid millions!” But ultimately, our most effective dodge resides in our willingness to view the game as one big movie.”

Steve Almond, author of “Against Football, in an essay today for the Washington Post titled “Hollywood’s version of the gridiron is just fantasy football
(It hypes violence for the sake of drama — then reassures us everything is okay)”

Perfect timing for this article, a reminder of what fans are really watching and cheering for during the pro football season, which began today.

No, I won’t be watching.

Her’s another chilling quote from Almond’s article:

“Hollywood sells to moviegoers is exactly what the NFL peddles to fans every Sunday: magical thinking. Both push the childish notion that giant men can smash into one another hundreds of times — head-first and at full speed — without their bodies and brains suffering profound injury. Over the past decade, medical researchers have exploded this myth by compiling an incontrovertible body of evidence. And even league executives, after years of denial and obfuscation, admitted last September that — according to their own actuaries — up to 30 percent of their players will eventually suffer from “long-term cognitive ailments,” the polite term for brain damage. If the owners of any other American business issued such a confession, you can be pretty sure that reporters, lawyers and politicians would descend in a frenzy, eager to shut it down. But when it comes to football, our normal standards of morality, and our grip on reality, sail right out the window.”

Have fun, football fans!

[ Or, if you’d rather read about why ethical people shouldn’t support pro football….well, one of the many reasons, you can visit here, here, here, here, or here.]


6 thoughts on “The Ethics Alarms New NFL Season Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ex-Football Fan Steve Almond

  1. Off-the-field Injury: When I was a kid, susceptible to following adult enthusiasms (well, as it came to sports anyway), I was taken to an Army/Navy game — this was hot stuff then. I knew baseball was the best (football never had a “world” series, after all) but being allowed to join in anything that excited grownups was a privilege. So I muffled my complaints under the lap-robe and came home with two frost-bitten toes. And a life-long abhorrence of football. As I can still feel the bite when my feet get cold. My mother’s reaction was something like “See what football does?” So I always knew where to lay the blame.

    Out-of-the-ring maiming: Mom also indicted boxing for getting the black eye (which I had thought hilarious at the time) sitting on the couch when my dad swung inadvertently during a tv broadcast. None of us ever sat next to him during any program of physical activity after that, not even westerns.

    She never agreed with her sister about baseball being to blame for their husbands’ hot-dog indigestion, though: she was a rabid Yankees fan. Any stomach upset was attributed to their Dodgers’ and Giants’ adherence, respectively.

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