Football needs to be reassessed for the danger it causes

Jacob Buhle, Staff Writer

On January 2nd, the Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after making a tackle in a game against the Bengals. Although the accident is rare, it is one of many tragic accidents that occur in sports. The injuries and pain surrounding professional sports paints a clear picture of an unethical industry.

First, for the sake of the argument, it’s important to define my usage of the term unethical. Unethical is referring to institutions that profit off of or encourage pain. 

Football is one of the most anticipated sports in America while also being one of the most dangerous, because of this training is usually exhausting and challenging in order to put each player in their physical best. Despite training and the protection that is provided from the equipment given to players, injury is extremely prevalent. Spraining an ankle and dislocating a shoulder are both common injuries, but the most common is 87% of players that suffer from a condition known as CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE is a progressive degenerative condition caused by excessive brain trauma. Football itself encourages the risk of CTE through tackling. No matter the amount of protective gear or the training in preparation, football still encourages a practice of players harming themselves for success. 

Football is not the only sport with this problem, Hockey is also an industry that promotes the accidents that occur on the ice and profit off of them to a disturbing extent. There are countdowns that exist of the worst hockey accidents, almost glorifying the near death experiences of several players. 

Which brings about the truth of both the sport industry and our society as a whole. Both are as just unethical as the other, both profit off of human pain. Just searching through accidents in sports leads to countless articles breaking down the top 10 worst injuries in the sporting world. There seems to be an obsession with accidents and pain. It’s a cycle of feeding both the fans and the industry. An accident occurs that the fans and news cycle go crazy for, article after article is pumped out turning a tragedy into a profitable experience. The industry then gains more attention and encourages risk and more accidents occur. 

The problem with the sporting industry is not just the industry; it’s everyone and how we feed off of it. Human suffering and tragedy is turned into a normal occurrence. The fact that it’s viewed as an inevitable and just as “a part of the game” speaks to the issue itself. 

The reality is, whether unethical or not, change to the industry is unlikely. It would take a change of national interest and that, realistically, is not going to happen. Especially with the reality that the players know the risks yet choose to play anyways in hopes of fame and success. The real change that needs to be made is our glamorization of tragedy, and to care more about what happens to each other.