I wonder if the latest revelation about last year's tragic suicide of veteran linebacker Junior Seau at the tender age of 43 will cause football fanatics to take a long, hard look at the sport they crave in light of the revelation that Mr. Seau was suffering from degenerative brain disease brought on by repeated hits to the head.
This story led one of the network evening newscasts on Thursday, Jan. 10, and it is indeed an important issue, presenting a dilemma.
Football is a multi-billion-dollar industry, having captured the attention and devotion of legions of fans. It has made thousands and thousands of individuals wealthy. Many turn their lives over to the sport as their favorite team battles for championships, which mean everything to fanatical devotees.
A reasonable and prudent person can recognize that violence is the focus of the sport and that many of the thrills and chills emanate from plays in which injury occurs or is likely, yet the sport has always been put forth as one which is suitable for families, including impressionable children.
It is hardly news when football players get into trouble with the law, a common occurrence. What can we expect of them off the field when these men are bred to be ruthless battering rams while in play? Even in outlandish circumstances in which players have been shown to have sought to injure others, there is no meaningful punishment dispensed.
Will the National Football League find a way to make the game safer, risking the alienation those that revel in the violence?
The case of Junior Seay and his grieving family is a red flag. How we as a society respond to it, if at all, will say a great deal about us.