I was interviewed for a piece on Slate by Will Oremus on how it’s not the lawsuits for individuals that will cascade and make football go away. Rather, it will be the lack of action by organizing groups and those that sanction the sport that could create suits against them that will make the game disappear.
For the record I love the sport of football, I truly believe it has its place in our culture and should not be “banned”. Football has positive attributes that were discussed in the debate by Tim Green and Jason Whitlock, it too has its undesirable side as well (for the purpose of this blog it is injuries, catastrophic ones at that).
Oremus took a look from a different angle, one that makes a whole lot of sense;
It seems obvious that suing coaches and trainers like Dustin Fink, while holding institutions unaccountable, can’t be the answer to reforming football. Going after individual high schools and colleges isn’t much better. If the evidence that even small hits can cause permanent damage keeps mounting, people will start to ask whether fielding an amateur football team constitutes gross negligence in itself.
The answer to that question should come not from the courts but from high-school athletic conferences, Continue reading
Malcolm Gladwell is an accomplished author, in fact I find his book “Blink” as one of the most influential in my little world. He has spoken out against the dangers of football even comparing it to dog-fighting, but through all the hyperbole there are some very valid and astute points that need to be listened to.
Kathy Waldman did and interview with Gladwell and wrote it up for Slate on Monday. Here I will highlight the most striking Q and A’s, you can read the entire article HERE.
Slate: What do you think is the single most compelling reason to abolish college football? Corruption? Head injury? Lost focus on academics?
Malcolm Gladwell: The factor that I think will be decisive is the head-injury issue. Colleges are going to get sued, and they will have to decide whether they can afford their legal exposure. That said, the issue ought to be how big-time college sports subverts the academic mission of university education.
If it becomes a problem at the college level, what does that say about the lower levels? I agree that head-injury issue is the biggest Continue reading
Sometime today Sports Legacy Institute (SLI), headed by Dr. Robert Cantu and Chris Nowinski are going to release a “white paper” that will “plan to spread successful NFL policy changes to all youth sports,” this according to Irvin Muchnick via his blog Concussion Inc.
What is a white paper? Glad you asked it is important for context (via Wikipedia);
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and may be a consultation as to the details of new legislation. The publishing of a white paper signifies a clear intention on the part of a government to pass new law. White Papers are a ” … tool of participatory democracy … not [an] unalterable policy commitment. “White Papers have tried to perform the dual role of presenting firm government policies while at the same time inviting opinions upon them.”
It is mentioned that along with SLI, Boston University’s Center for the Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy (headed by Dr. Ann McKee) will be in the white paper as well.
I will be interested to see what exactly they are Continue reading