Football concussions penalized on and off the field

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Photo provided by Nicky Salatino

These days you won’t hear a conversation about football without the issue of safety being brought up, unless the ones talking about it actually play the sport.

Critics make it seem like the players are unaware of the risks that go along with playing football and that the game is too unsafe for them. The fact of the matter is players understand the risks that come with the game and they choose to accept them and play anyway because they have a passion for the game. If you look at great players like Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning, Walter Payton, and Jerry Rice; these men knew what they signed up for. They knew the risk of severe injuries but they played the game for years and years anyway.

If someone has a problem with the sport, or any sport for that matter, then they don’t have to watch it. Football fans and players all have a love for the game and they choose to play and follow the sport.

There are people who argue that players go out and get hurt for the entertainment of the fans. That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. No player or fan wishes and injury upon another player, and if you have ever been at a game when player suffers an injury, you would know that. The crowd falls to a silence as all players from both teams drop to a knee and remove their helmets, and when the injured player walks or is helped off the field, the fans of both teams erupt in applause, because when it comes to injury, there is no more competitive rivalry, nobody is thinking about the score, every person in the stadium is focused on the player. It is this sense of sportsmanship and character building that makes football such a great game.

If you asked kids involved in rec football programs and even at the high school and collegiate levels, they would tell you that when they grow up, they want to play in the NFL. Who wouldn’t? It’s like getting paid to have fun!

“Without this, kids wouldn’t have much to dream about” said future Hall of Famer, Ed Reed.

However those that have a strong knowledge of the life of a football player know that playing in the National Football League isn’t just fun, there is also intense, demanding work that has to be put in to be successful, both as a team and as an individual. But the elite players put in that work, they take the risk of stepping on the field day in and day out, because they know that football is more than a game.