We have been covering brain injuries in football a lot recently as the problem of player safety and the hope of possible treatments have been in the news. Football’s big day is coming up this weekend, and in addition to the usual speculation on which team will win and what the ads will be like this year, many are also turning their attention to the issue of brain injuries.
President Obama recently weighed into the debate on increased safety measures in football, saying that while the players are adults who are well compensated for the injuries they will face during the game, it may be time to lessen the violence involved in professional football.
Like most football fans, Obama is concerned that increasing safety will change the game and make it less exciting, but he and other safety advocates agree it’s a necessary tradeoff.
Many players, including the thousands who have filed lawsuits against the NFL, disagree about knowing the risks inherent in playing the game. While most take broken bones and a few concussions into account, they contend that they were not properly informed of the very real risk of long term brain damage.
The discussion leading up to the Super Bowl surrounds if and how the rules of professional football should be changed to make it safer for players. Some players argue that instead of changing the rules, the league just needs to enforce existing rules and make sure that the hits delivered during professional play are legal. Other players have suggested changing the rules to better protect offensive players specifically.
What do you think California football fans – should the league change the rules to make the game safer? Or are players responsible for doing the right thing and delivering less violent hits?
Source: The New York Times, “At Media Day, Spotlight on Head Injuries Grows” Benjamin Hoffman, Jan. 29 2013