[I was going to write a brand new post pointing out why watching the Super Bowl (and the ads of the NFL’s unethical accessories) was unconscionable, but then I remembered how many times I’ve written similar pieces, and constantly going over the same unethical territory is eating away at my joie de vie—“my twinkle,” as Cosmo Kramer would say. Cant have that, so here is a previous post on the theme from 2019.
It is remarkable to me that the near death of Damar Hamlin mid game less than two months ago has essentially vanished from the sports pages after a brief flurry of “why do we cheer on this mayhem?” pieces before the NFL’s play-offs started. The big concern seems to be whether President Biden is snubbing Fox News be refusing to give a mid-game Super Bowl interview (which is supposedly a “tradition”) or Fox News is snubbing President Biden. In any event Joe’s not being interviewed, though a chat with someone who is cognitively damaged during the game might do some good by reminding viewers what they are cheering.]
Let me say something good about the New York Times: not all of it’s editorials are repetitious attacks on President Trump, just most of them. Last week editorial board member Alex Kinsbury persuaded his colleague to let him used the space for an opinion both ethical and irrefutable. A quick summary: Football is maiming its players, the NFL doesn’t care, and if you watch the Super Bowl and support its sponsors, you’re complicit.
But then you knew that, right? At least you know it if you’re been coming here for any length of time.
Recalling a hard hit on Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, Kinsbury writes, “As the sound of the hit faded into a commercial break, I realized with absolute certainty that I couldn’t watch football anymore. There aren’t enough yards to gain or Super Bowl rings to win that are worth the cost.”
True. What took you so long? He continues by reviewing the well-publicized data:
The first research into the link between football and traumatic brain injury was published in 2005. Since then, the science has become impossible to ignore. In 2017, The Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of the autopsies of the brains of 111 deceased former N.F.L. players, whose relatives gave their bodies up for study. The group was not a random sample, yet 110 showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., a degenerative brain disease linked to concussions. Research published in November estimated that a minimum of 10 percent of all professional football players would develop C.T.E. at some point in their lives.
10% is wishful thinking, even for the players who can still think. Continue reading