To those that have come to believe that professional football is good, wholesome, family-friendly fun, I would prominently note the basis for the lawsuit that has been filed against the National Football League by the family of former New England Patriots star linebacker Junior Seau, a victim of suicide which was preceded by a brain disorder linked to repeated hits in his playing days.
The lawsuit accuses the National Football League of “glorifying the violence in pro football”, and “creating the impression that delivering big hits is a badge of courage which does not seriously threaten one’s health.”
It singles out NFL Films and some of its videos for “promoting the brutality of the game.”
Is the Seau family wrong? Does anyone care to challenge its characterizations of the game, and if so, on what basis?
Will the tragic and untimely death of Mr. Seau change professional football in any meaningful way? It is not likely. He is considered mere collateral damage in America’s love of this “great sport.” Many people have become rich through their participation in a game which plays havoc with the lives of players during or after their careers, so the league cannot and will not place player safety uppermost in its mind. It is likely to settle any lawsuits that are filed, getting the plaintiffs to go away, and considering payments made to be one of the routine costs of doing business.
Professional football bears some similarities to the reviled tobacco companies/drug pushers. We know it is dangerous, that it results in untold injuries and even deaths, but it is legal, and we are addicted to it in its current form, so it will continue to thrive with little, if any change.