viernes, 4 de agosto de 2017

Heads up: time to say goodbye to football | August 4, 2017 | MercatorNet |

Heads up: time to say goodbye to football

| August 4, 2017 | MercatorNet |

Heads up: time to say goodbye to football

If football was a drug, it'd be banned.
Craig Klugman | Aug 4 2017 | comment 

Suppose a prescribed drug caused brain damage in 99.1% of people who took it. Would you take the drug?
How long before that drug was pulled from the marketplace and the lawsuits against the manufacturer began? What if that drug made the company $7.2 billion per year? What if those who took the drug became celebrities for a brief period of time? Would you consider taking it then? Most rational people would refrain from the medication and the FDA would remove it from the market.
If you substitute the word “football” for “drug,” then you know the results of a new study in JAMAwhich definitively proves that football is bad for one’s health.
In the study of 111 brains of former NFL players donated to the researchers, 110 (that’s 99.1% of the sample) showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Researchers examined a total of 202 donated brains. Ninety-one brains came from non-NFL players including those who played in pre-high school; high school; college, semi-pro, and Canadian Football League.
Of those brains 66 showed evidence of CTE (72.5%). The percent of players with CFL increases with the level of football play (which is a substitute for number of years in the sport and number of likely concussions).
Level of Play
Percent of Brains Showing CTE
Pre-High School
High School
The severity of the brain’s CTE was correlated with the level of play as well. One hundred percent of high school player’s brains had mild CTE and 86% of professional players had severe CTE. The NFL players held a variety of different positions (even kickers showed signs of CTE).
This is not a new disease. It was first described in 1973 in an examination of 15 boxers. The condition is associated with repeated head trauma as often happens in professional sports like U.S. football.
Perhaps the scariest thing about CTE is that all of the safety gear football players wear does little to protect them against concussive injuries according to a 2017 review in the American Journal of Neurosurgery:
One would think that if a condition afflicts 99% of participants and there is no protection against it, that the activity would be banned. However, that neglects that the NFL is a $7.2 billion (annual) industry.
The 2017 Super Bowl game was watched by 111.3 million people (nearly one-third of the U.S. population). In 2011, nearly 27 million people watched football on Sunday afternoons. (However, viewership of football started dropping in 2016.) Still, that many eyeballs mean a lot of advertisers want to purchase screen time from television networks.
The question as to why, even in the face of strong statistical evidence, football continues is that (a) it is popular and (b) it brings in a lot of money.
Also consider the mythology of football as an “American Game” that represents the male spirit—toughness, fighting against the odds, and very physical. I lived about a decade of life in Texas where football is king and is a sacred part of the culture. Football has been an avenue out of poverty through college scholarships and well-paid players.
You know what else used to be a major part of American culture—cigarette smoking. What is important, “cultural,” and lucrative can change.
Smoking used to be the best performing industry in the U.S. Now, smoking has declined to fewer than 15% of adults. Smoking today is still associated with lack of education and poverty. Both smoking and football have been viewed as “ways out” of the cycle of structural poverty (whether through distraction or a one-in-a-million shot) that plagues the U.S. The long-term health effects for both activities are dire.
In medicine, the current gold standard is to make decisions based on the scientific evidence. Such evidence was the reason to create a cultural and legal shift against tobacco smoking (especially cigarettes) in an attempt to reduce the morbidity and mortality for which smoking was responsible.
The time has come to do the same for football. Other sports commonly associated with head injuries like soccer and hockey can change to be safer. Hockey can penalize players who start fights or who hit above the shoulders.
2012 study found that creating rules against bodychecking led to a significant decrease in injuries. Soccer can eliminate heading. In fact, hitting a soccer ball with one’s head has already been banned in youth soccer.
But to make football safer would require changing the game significantly, removing tackling (imagine the excitement of a televised professional flag football game), designing helmets that offer real protection, and not permitting minors to be involved in the game, to name a few efforts.
Even then, until these safety protocols are created, scientifically proven, and adopted, the dangers of participating in football far outweighs the risks of entertainment and moneymaking.
One could argue that adult players can give informed consent to participate and even if they were shown the evidence, many probably would still agree to play.
However, minors cannot legally consent. Parent’s rights are often limited when their choices place a child in harm’s way. So even if professional football continues, youth participation in the sport should be immediately ended since CTE is a cumulative disease that represents a clear and present danger against which there is no protection.
I am not saying that we can only participate in activities with no risks, but that the level of risk in football exceeds what is rational and reasonable.
Banning football, banning youth participation in football, and dramatically changing the game are the only ethical options to this great American pastime. Our entertainment and profits cannot come at the cost of the health of others.
Professor Craig Klugman, Ph.D. is a bioethicist and medical anthropologist at DePaul University. This article was originally published at, the website of the American Journal of Bioethics.


August 4, 2017

The good news today is that the vast majority of New Zealanders who took the trouble to write their views on euthanasia to a government committee were against legalising this kind of killing. Too often polls of a thousand or so people are taken by ringing them up and asking them on the spot whether they approve of some carefully worded version of this practice. Writing and signing a submission, be it ever so brief, requires thought and commitment, and, as we see from this exercise Down Under, only a small minority of people are that convinced about expanding the role of doctors to give lethal injections.
I am not certain whom the International Monetary Fund represents, but I am pretty sure it is not ordinary mortals. When I read the article below by a Canadian economist it made my blood boil: the IMF wants Canada to spend billions on daycare for all little children so that all their mothers can be available for the workforce whether they really want to be wage labourers or not. And they have the cheek to refer to this as “women’s equality”!
There is an interesting mix of other articles today, including one that will probably make football players indignant, and a novel argument against sex-reassignment surgery. And don't miss the terrific New Yorker video of the Double Dutch Skipping competition held at the Lincoln Centre this summer. 

Carolyn Moynihan 
Deputy Editor, 

Report confirms a massive majority against euthanasia in New Zealand
By Carolyn Moynihan
Submission process shows the difference between a poll and considered opinions.
Read the full article
Heads up: time to say goodbye to football
By Craig Klugman
If football was a drug, it'd be banned.
Read the full article
Inviting moral relativism to be irrelevant
By Terrance D. Olson
The surprising moral lessons of children's lived experience.
Read the full article
The implications of Africa’s population growth
By Marcus Roberts
Europe might be worried.
Read the full article
How ‘women’s equality’ becomes a pawn in workforce policy
By Christopher Sarlo
An economist’s take on a new International Monetary Fund report on daycare in Canada.
Read the full article
Transgender suicides: what to do about them
By Chad Felix Greene
A safe, ethical way to re-align sex and gender.
Read the full article
In Australia, men still prefer mothers to stay at home
By Jenni Henderson
New household stats show that men are also more conservative about family structure.
Read the full article
Dunkirk: tell your children and your children’s children
By John Robson
Parents should feel responsible for passing on our history
Read the full article
Guide to the classics: Homer’s Iliad
By Chris Mackie
Alexander the Great slept with a dagger and a copy of the Iliad under his pillow
Read the full article
The ‘democracy of the dead’: why we should respect tradition
By Chiara Bertoglio
There is a reason that Athens survived and Sparta did not.
Read the full article
‘Emotion is utterly certain’: why the pro-life case can’t be won on facts
By Anna Nienhuis
Why have shocking videos about the sale of fetal body parts not changed public opinion?
Read the full article

MERCATORNET | New Media Foundation 
Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George Street, North Strathfied NSW 2137, Australia 

Designed by elleston

Heads up: time to say goodbye to football

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario