The NFL needs to be “Heads Up”

Shaquill Stewart, TSV Staff Writer

The NFL season is around the mid-way point with everyone glued in, yet there is a dark cloud as the season rolls on with the constant news about concussions in the sport.

The recent book and TV documentary League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis have made huge claims that the NFL had denied and covered up evidence linking football and brain damage for years, with 16 former players having the disease CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Can the concussion conversation kill football 20 years from now?

If you ask the NFL, they will do whatever it takes to make sure that will not happen. One of their campaign ads, “Heads Up PSA,” is trying to promote better safety for youths coming into football. “We make the game
safer because, to us, it’s so much more than just a game,” the overall message said in the ad.

Whether intended or not, ads like this have helped blind people from severe criticism facing the NFL in recent years, from first promoting big hits with the “He Got Jacked Up” E.S.P.N segment to now promoting head safety to save their own behinds from being sued forever. Its been only two months since the massive concussion lawsuit pitting thousands of former players against the NFL was settled in suit, only one week before the season began.

However, by the time League of Denial aired last week on PBS, many football fans began questioning, “Are the Niners in trouble?” rather than questioning the violence in the game.

Is there a link between playing football and these head injures? What is this disease? Can it be curable? These are all question the NFL needs to know, as this disease could be the end of professional football. The NFL says no, yet all research seems to point toward that.

“He got jacked up!!!” was a term commonly used in football to describe a big hit. Big hits in football have always been a part of the game, yet at what price? Are players willing to take it if it means not being able to be yourself, or even risk dying?

The National Football League is the most popular sports league in America, making an annual 10 billion dollars and growing. Its hard to imagine the NFL going away.
As talked about in the documentary, “If 10 percent of mothers come to believe that football is dangerous to the point of brain damage, effectively that’s the end of football as we know it,” said Bennet Omalu, the doctor that found CTE in Mike Webster’s brain.

Webster was a former football player in the NFL. He has since become the poster child of brain injuries in the NFL.

The NFL is in big trouble.