Is it wrong to watch football? | The Tylt
Football is America's favorite sport—but revelations about the brain damage players suffer is making some spectators uncomfortable. New studies show playing in the NFL puts athletes at extreme risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head. But others argue that players know the risks—their bodies, their choice. They're paid millions, and fans shouldn't feel guilty for watching. What do you think? 🏈
Is it wrong to watch football?
People keep watching football despite seeing life-threatening hits every week. Is it wrong to be entertained by it?
Ian Crouch questions whether the game should even be allowed to continue in its current form.
"Football fans have been forced to confront something that we already knew from plain sight: the sport is dangerous for the people who play it—for their joints, and bones, and muscles, and, especially, for their brains....Is it O.K. to watch, and take intense pleasure from, a game that is so hazardous to its players?"
Chuck Klosterman, on the other hand, thinks there is no ethical dilemma here. Boxing is violent, too. Athletes are aware of and accept the dangers of their chosen sports.
Any adult involved with football is aware of the risks associated with playing a collision sport. We might have been able to make a different argument in 1975, but not today....
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Football is a brutal activity. But this is a known, accepted reality. Professional athletes accept this risk in exchange for the chance at large financial reward and the right to pursue a rarefied livelihood they love and desire.
Steve Almond has quit watching football and thinks you should too.
Consuming as a form of entertainment a game that causes human beings to suffer brain damage is wrong. It would be convenient to ignore this fact or rationalize it away. It would also be immoral.
Sports writer Kevin Trahan says football is so deeply entrenched in American culture that there's no way he or the vast majority of fans will stop watching.
Malcolm Gladwell argues there is no way to subtract violence and trauma from the game, and that as long as people are willing to watch, players will continue to play.
“Can you point to another industry in America that in the course of doing business, maims one-third of its employees (for life)?”
But many say the millions NFL players are paid ameliorates the cost of their brains and bodies will pay later in life, and fans shouldn't feel guilty for watching. Lots of professions are dangerous.
Players are highly compensated for putting themselves at risk....Yes football is dangerous, everyone knows that – that’s why we pay them the big bucks.