The National Football League today announced it will start suspending players who give particularly violent hits to other players.
What is the NFL worried about? One need only look at last weekend in college football.
A Luther College football player -- Chris Norton -- is hospitalized at Mayo Clinic after suffering a fractured neck and a compressed spinal cord during a football game on Saturday. His father said the family was told there was only a 3-percent chance he'd regain use of his limbs. Here's his Caring Bridge site.
That's not the only tragedy of the weekend. A Rutgers player is paralyzed from the neck down after a hit during a kickoff return.
|Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand carted off on backboard with neck injury|
The biggest barrier to eliminating some of the hitting that leads to kids becoming quadriplegics may be this: Fans love it.
The fact that people who earn a living ( or a scholarship) who use their bodies as a weapon are sometimes seriously injured should come as no surprise. The greater question is whether we as a society want to continue down this path of being distracted from more relevant issues by the bread and circus rewards of violent sports and inane television. Do individuals have a right to destroy their bodies for our entertainment and financial reward? If not, where shall we draw the line?
In short Jim, yes they do. When a young man in his late teens or early twenties who has physical gifts that very few of us have is told he can parlay that into millions of dollars and a lavish lifestyle, I would think it is hard to say no to that.