BOSTON (CBS) – Concussion awareness is at an all-time high. Youth football participation is down. Former players have, and are continuing to file lawsuits against the NFL for not providing enough head injury education.
Players like Wes Welker are suffering concussions at an alarming rate, so much so that one former athlete is calling for him to retire.
Yet we still watch. Week after week we attend games and tune in all Sunday long.
Should fans be doing more to help the players? Furthermore, is it our moral obligation to stop tuning in? One writer says yes.
The author of the piece points to studies showing players dying younger, and how the sport, quote, “fosters within us the tolerance for violence, greed, misogyny and militarism.” Adding, “Consuming as a form of entertainment a game that causes human beings to suffer brain damage is wrong.”
Hardy and CSNNE’s Trenni Kusnierek, filling in for Gresh & Zolak, discussed this dilemma Thursday morning.
“We’re basically watching people maim each other on the field every Sunday,” said Trenni. “It’s gladiators 2.0.”
“I understand completely what the author is saying. I still watch, and I don’t feel the same conflict that he feels,” said Hardy, an avid Detroit Lions fan. “I am not usually one to impose right or wrong on people, and so far I have not felt wrong watching football. That’s where I part ways with the article. I’ve yet to feel wrong about watching.”
“I have started to (feel wrong about watching),” added Trenni. “I think there’s a couple reasons why. Maybe it’s because I’m older. I’ve started to see how we treat athletes, and how we revere them differently. Sports have become so central in the lives of our kids that it’s become more important than anything else. That’s why I’m so conflicted in watching a lot of sports, because I love sports.”
Trenni agrees with the author that football does foster violence in the community, but Hardy disagrees wholeheartedly.
Listen below for the full discussion: