The NFL has been waging a years-long battle between making the game of football safer for players and not letting it change the rules to such a degree that it changes the nature of the contact sport.
The life-threatening downfield tackle on safety Damar Hamlin was a reminder of the great risk inherent in one of the world’s biggest entertainment properties, as the top earning league for broadcast rights, competing with its Super Bowl before global audience events such as a Champions League or a Soccer World Cup.
The NFL has faced intense scrutiny over how it handles player health, especially over its concussion protocols. On the one hand, in the United States, parents have considered preventing their children from practicing this sport in schools, and on the other, regular NFL fans have protested the changes in the rules that have limited rudeness. of contact, above all, the clash between helmets during plays.
In 2018 when the NFL passed its new rule that prohibits lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet. On social media, fans expressed their annoyance at the “significant” changes to the rules.
Is it possible to make football safer while still being the game America knows and loves?
There’s a reason NFL Films used to produce videos with titles like “Crunch Course,” celebrating the most brutal hits on the field. There’s a reason ESPN used to do a “Jacked Up!” segment showing players being beaten senseless. The NFL stopped celebrating big crashes because it saw it’s harder to defend against concussion litigation, but not because there wasn’t a market for such videos.
A fundamental change in the game is something that millions of Americans want to see at the youth level, but another part, they don’t want to see at the professional level.
Player safety, our personal health, is now more important than it used to be. That’s going to be important at the college level. That will specifically be important for the high school and youth levels,” commented an analyst for the Wire media.
Other incidents this season include Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who landed in the NFL’s concussion protocol twice in as many months.
“I think it’s possible to make the game more secure, but it’s hard to make it completely secure. It can be a violent and brutal game,” said neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
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