elScroggins t1_j7wcnew wrote

It is a fair argument to say that professional athletes should not be entitled to long term care by the league or their teams. I disagree, personally, but it is a legitimate argument to make.

From my personal experience however, I believe you underestimate the level of injuries sustained by professional athletes in the NFL. I played in college, and by that time, most football players have been in the game for over 10 years. The amount of time spent in physical therapy, especially toward the end of the season, is often equal to time spent on the field in practice. These guys leave the trainer with sometimes 10 ice bags attached, and they cant even buy a beer yet. I believe it is completely accurate to say that with the very rare exception every player leaves the sport with some level of CTE. Again, this is only my personal observation, but I count myself among those who have been concussed countless times while playing football.

Lastly, I don’t fully agree that first responders is an apples-to-apples comparison. The NFL and its franchises are massively profitable. For the players, this was often their only shot at leaving a tough upbringing, whereas team owners were frequently wealthy to a degree. They are certainly making a huge profit compared to even their biggest players, and all without potential body harm.

Individual contractors are not courted out of high school with dreams of grandor, nor are they made into celebrities. Athletes are not pushed to study finance, they are pushed to get stronger and faster. Their well being beyond their skill on the field is not of concern to the franchises who benefit from their effort - and this is where i find a moral disconnect.

The right thing to do would be to protect their health during and after their time in the NFL.


elScroggins t1_j7takqb wrote

I’ve known a few guys who played in the league for a time. Their experience made me realize just how many players enter and exit the NFL within 3-5 years… And just how few make a career out of playing, ultimately departing the league after a short time with limited career options.

Given the real cost of medical care, the ~$2m they take home in five years (or less, after taxes, agent fee, etc.), is really underwhelming if any significant portion goes to their own healthcare. Plus, as others have mentioned, these young athletes are typically not known for their disciplined saving and frugal lifestyle.

Lastly, because every player exits the league with some degree of CTE, medical attention to it’s effects shouldn’t be based on a claim to be approved or denied. It should be a guaranteed right long after retirement.

We’ve all seen the physics behind a single NFL hit. There is no morally justifiable way to pretend these athletes are not going to experience trauma while on the job. Permanent access to care should be part of their contract, and should protect them even after they stop working in such a dangerous field.