What Are The Long Term Effects Of Concussions

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The link between concussions and long-term brain damage is quite rampant in the NFL. There are clear ethical dilemmas at play that surround this very complex issue. First and foremost, are concussions avoidable in the NFL and if so, at what cost? Additionally, if a sport such as football results in catastrophic damage to its participants, should it even be legal? The dilemma at play for these two questions is whether the long-term health of football players outweighs the staggering revenue flowed into the NFL every year. The NFL has adopted policies to limit head trauma such as, enforcing penalties and fines on players who commit helmet-to-helmet hits, and moving the kick-offs by five yards in hopes of reducing the speed of collisions (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sports/league-of-denial/timeline-the-nfls-concussion-crisis/). …show more content…
Both the NFL and their players have in many ways avoided this complex issue, as both parties are receiving significant salaries and money. However, an NFL career is only so long and players have the option to quit to avoid the long-term effects concussions could pose on players. As an example, Chris Borland had a very impressive rookie season for the San Francisco 49ers at linebackers. Borland shocked the football world by retiring after his rookie year due to fears of future brain damage. Borland stated, “The game may be safer… My experience over my five years at Wisconsin and my one-year in the NFL was that there were times where I couldn’t play the game safely. There are positive measures we can take… but on a lead play, on a power play, there’s violence (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/13463272/how-former-san-francisco-49ers-chris-borland-retirement-change-nfl-forever). Ultimately, as a NFL player one has to make an educated decision on whether to risk potential injury by playing in the NFL. It is certainly an ethical dilemma, as some of these participants are not only passionate about the game, but also it’s the only thing that they know and their only source of income now and the future is playing in the league. So to answer the first question that is posed on whether concussions are avoidable, one can look to Mr. Borland’s sentiments and come to the conclusion that they are not. Concussions can certainly be limited, but there are so many instances of improvised situations in plays that result in traumatic brain injuries. It is very difficult for a player to forfeit their NFL career for the betterment of their long-term health. However, like Borland, all NFL players are starting to being surrounded with this information. Some are choosing to ignore it, as it’s “what they signed up for,” and others

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