The ethical gymnastics demanded of NFL fans have grown more challenging over the past decade as the scientific evidence linking football with brain injuries mounts. Last week’s study of 111 deceased NFL players’ brains found evidence of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 110 of the subjects, forcing spectators to reconcile their thirst for the bone-crunching hits at the core of the league’s appeal with an inconvenient reality: that many of the players they cheer will one day pay a grim price long after the lights have gone out.
Time and again the NFL, which has been accused of concealing the harmful effects of concussions, has prioritized the short-term effectiveness of players over their long-term well-being. Then there are owners like billionaire oil tycoon Jerry Jones, whose Dallas Cowboys recently unseated Real Madrid as the world’s most valuable sports team, who continue to deny the connection between football and brain injuries. It’s a stance evocative of the seven largest US tobacco company CEOs who collectively denied the addictive nature of nicotine before a congressional subcommittee in 1994.
– Read the entire article at The Guardian.