California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    NFL players should be aware of the dangers of injuries

    A debate revolving around safety in football has caused the National Football League to agree to pay $765 million to a fund for past, present and future players with health problems that could have stemmed from concussions.

    But is it the NFL’s job to pay out or should athletes know the dangers associated with playing? In a situation like this, there isn’t just one side to blame.

    “I feel like the athletes have to know what they are getting themselves into. They’ve grown up with football, they should expect injuries and long term effects from said injuries,” said senior Philip Albornoz, who played football throughout high school, in an email interview.

    While it’s true that without football, many of these players would not be experiencing such dramatic brain injuries, it is their responsibility to know what they are getting themselves into when they play.

    “There have undoubtedly been instances in years past where NFL teams cleared injured players before they were ready to return,” said CLU Head Football Coach Ben McEnroe, in an email interview. “But, often times, the players are driving that decision because their jobs are on the lines and they want to get paid.”

    Perhaps the core issue we should be looking at isn’t who to blame, but how to help situations like this before they get out of hand.

    “I think this is a problem that isn’t going away. As long as football is being played, horrible injuries are going to happen,” said senior Andrew Olson.

    One of the most important things to come out of this lawsuit was the increased awareness of injuries sustained through football and the lasting effects these injuries have on athletes.

    “Proper tackling should be taught in the youth level, so that it will be carried out throughout the different levels,” said Albornoz, touching on just one of the new developments in the NFL.

    A new major rule was placed into effect by the NFL that attempts to stop players from hitting others close to the crown of their head. Additionally, new safety equipment and testing has been enacted for the start of the new football season.

    The NFL will have ‘Unaffiliated Neuro-trauma Consultants’ at every game to help decide whether a player should be taken out of the game or is fit to continue playing, as well as field inspectors to make sure the field is up to par. The NFL is doing what it can to help protect its players.

    In an interview with sports journalist Andrea Kremer, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell agreed that neither side was fully to blame. According to the NFL website, Goodell describes his goal as wanting to “create that fund that would allow players who are having cognitive diseases, no matter what the cause [to get help]. The cause isn’t the issue for us, it’s to get them help.” Goodell and the NFL hope to do this through the Head Health Challenge and the settlement payment.

    The NFL definitely has the money to provide for such a fund, which will aid in helping all sorts of players and their injuries. However, the players need to be aware of the aggressive game they are playing and take measures to ensure their own and others’ safety.

    Regardless of who is or isn’t to blame in this scenario, the fact that the players are getting the support and help they need is what truly matters. Even though these players know what they’re getting themselves into, and violence and injury is part of their job description, they still deserve to live a healthy and happy life even after their careers are over.


    Danya Migdali
    Staff Writer
    Published Sept. 18, 2013