Athletes’ Livelihood and Technology
Football has been America’s sport for decades and it is mainly played in the United States. Health risks have raised insecurities within the NFL and it extended to Youth Football. In “The ‘Inherent Risk’ Doctrine, Amateur Coaching Negligence, and The Goal of Loss Avoidance” by Timothy B. Fitzgerald, he talks about how sports injury, typically football, has become so common that they are becoming a social issue (890). Head injuries have run rampant in football and the league managers tried creating safer helmets to eliminate imminent risks. Even though helmets are now safer and skull fractures have not occurred in football in decades, concussions have become common injury. In Edward Tenner’s article, “Another Look, Back and a Look Ahead,” Tenner explains through the advancements in innovation we become over-confident in our technology, creating revenge effects. Better helmets made players feel safe so they become more violent players, due to the feeling of security.
Football has created a surplus of injuries that have become an issue. Arguments and lawsuits have been made in order to make the game safer. That attempt to make the game safer also made it even more dangerous because players believe they are less likely to get hurt. Tenner told us that, “Adams and others (mainly social scientists) have argued conversely that seat belts, by making drivers feel more secure, actually cause more pedestrian casualties even as they reduce motorist injuries” (443). There is a system within us that needs a balance between risk and safety, the more secure we feel it increases the chance we perform reckless actions. The argument is simple, do you enhance equipment safety or decrease it. We become even more at risk with safer equipment whether it’s driving or playing a sport, because we feel secure due to the protection from the equipment. If we decrease the safety it will force us to become safer drivers or in an athlete’s case player in order to sustain risk homeostasis. Risk homeostasis is the balance between risk and safety, the safer you are the more danger you create and the greater amount of danger you are in the greater chance of you performing proper safety procedures increase. Now that we are getting better and safer equipment, players believe that they can hit harder without feeling any pain. In Timothy B. Fitzgerald’s says, “football players understand, and accept the risk of being tackled; boxers implicitly acknowledge, understand, and accept the risk of being ‘knocked out,’ or even killed” (893). Fitzgerald tells us that these sports provide obvious health risks but athletes ignore the dangers and play the game anyway. These athletes are looking for risks in these sports and don’t mind what happens to them. The constant need for danger leads to an inevitable issue.
Football is known for having dangerous plays and kickoff has been part of football since the sport was invented. The kickoff is one of the most dangerous plays because it requires players to run at full velocity, throwing their body into their targets knowing the potential consequences that may occur. The players on the kicking side have one mission through the whole play and that is to find the man with the ball and hit him as hard as you can. Tackles are becoming more and more dangerous so the Commissioner Roger Goodell has thought about ending the kickoff sequence for good. For that day to come more football players must become seriously injured, because the tradition of kickoff has become so embodied in our minds that we will rather see players get hurt than to give it up. The ecstasy people feel when they see bone-shattering hits, hear powerful cracking sounds, and the miracles that the players actually get back up from such hits is what keeps fans coming. Watching violent sports has become a way of life, especially in America. Football, to be exact, has created...