National Football League - Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-03
National Football League - Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Sport
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1749 words
15 min read


National Football League (NFL) is a football league in America, which is equally divided American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC), consisting of 32 teams. NFL is among the professional leagues in Northern America. Being a legit league puts it on record to ensure the safety of its plays. Thus, the medical, research and innovative team are always on their toes to improve the safety of the players (Collection no pg.). It has been noted that the NFL is among the league which has tried to cushion the health of the players, particularly concussion for more than a decade. The discussion will delve into the ways that the NFL has incorporated to put concussion at bay, which involves injury to the brain at bay for the long period.

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In modus operandi, some collisions occur during the play and even practice. The need to control the contact is paramount to avoid Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which may involve knocking heads together or another physical knock to the head. Awareness is considered the best method. Seemingly, shading light on a particular aspect makes the element more understandable. Advertisement is the best illustration in this scenario. Normally, an advertisement's core goal is to make the service or product be known to the market. Similarly, creating awareness in the NFL on concussions is a pivotal step taken to mitigate CTE (Lessley no pg.). However, awareness creates emphasis on the need of combating the chances that can facilitate concussion in a play. Through awareness, innovations and other measures are build.

A 2017 study probed that 90 percent of players who die are associated with CTE. CTE is a disease that is claiming the lives of players at a higher rate. However, in the 2017-2018 National League Football season, a total of 300 concussion cases were reported (Lessley no pg.). The situation is alarming, thus, the need to create awareness is essential. Initially, the NFL former player sued the league for suffering a brain injury. Other families of the deceased players who died from the concussion are also to be compensated. One billion dollars are expected to be given to the man. However, some changes have been made including moving the kickoff line. The move has received critics from the experts saying it is not sufficient enough to solve the problem. It should be noted that in 2018, Nicholas Chauvin, 18-years-old, a Francais' youth team rugby player died after the tackle went wrong. He is among the four players who died because of head injuries. This made a French newspaper, "L'Equipe" writing "Rugby Kills". Indeed, the play may kill but something can be done to reduce such occurrences. This puts media on record to be in the forefront creating awareness on the need to be as keen as a mustered while on the playing ground.

However, the National Football League has increased awareness in the biomechanics of cranial trauma, which intends to improve protective gear to mitigate concussion among players according to their position. Helmets are among the suggested protocols to be implemented to curb the epidemic. A special design of a helmet is required regarding the impact zone injuries to reduce cranial injuries. Also, tracking and keeping the records is considered pivotal to assess the situation (Lessley no pg.). This helps in evaluating the effectiveness of the awareness created and the implemented protocols. Importantly, equipment on the market which do not meet the set standards should be penalized according to the NFL. The step attempts to reduce the number of companies producing protective equipment without taking into consideration the safety of the players as far as a concussion is concerning.

Use of Football Helmets

In most of the activities which expose the head to the risk of injuries, including cycling, safari rallies among others, the helmets are deployed. Similarly, the helmets were introduced in the NFL due to the increasing number of concussions that were being reported. The literature reveals that helmets prevent the head from fractures. However, it is paramount to note that not all the helmets pass to be used in the pitch. A thorough laboratory investigation must be carried out to ensure the protectivity of the helmet (FOSTER 59). The Federal Trade Commission, which is responsible for the football helmets is also in charge of ensuring that the helmets are safe for use in the field. It has come to record that players filed a lawsuit against NFL and the football-helmet trading partners over the claims of disgusting the science of brain trauma.

According to statistics, 3.8 U. S. athletes suffer from sports-related concussions. Depending on the position, professional players receive 1,500 hits on the head in one season. Summing up to ten years, which involves ten seasons, the player receives 15,000 hits on the head (FOSTER 68). This excludes other knocks they receive from vast places including schools, colleges, and even in rod accidents among others. The hits constitute the growing epidemic of traumatic brain injuries. The lives of players are at stake. Many leading companies in producing helmets have claimed to manufacture unprecedented safety helmets. The problem emerges where, many companies pay research institutions to approve their products on the market, thus not being protected as it is expected. The transparency is not there. It is uphill for the coaches and family members of the sportsmen to decide on which product.

In determining the helmets, it is considered to determine the nature of the injury. Normally, a concussion is invisible. The sophisticated technology by the doctors is not offering the best to determine the intensity of the injury in the brain. It is believed that concussion occurs due to bruising of the brain's gray matter. The reality reveals that concussion takes place deep in the brain's white matter if forces transmitted from a blow strain nerve cells and their connection to the axon. Hence, preventing physical fractures on the head does not guarantee 100 percent protection from brain injury (FOSTER 70). A more sophisticated helmet should be made to ensure the security of the brain. This puts to record the companies manufacturing the helmets, it is not enough to say they are manufacturing helmets, they should be of high quality and help in reducing the forces transmitted from a blow, which strains nerves cells and their connection to the axon.

The narrative around the feasible helmets continues as the NLF also proceeds on obtaining the best helmets for the players. Eric Weddle doesn't like the newly introduced helmets. This follows the step taken by the NFL to take the new helmets and leave the previous one due to poor laboratory performance. According to him, his head swam after wearing the helmet (Gregory40). According to him, the move was faster and the players could have been associated before introducing the helmet. On the other hand, Cleveland Brown notes that the NFL is doing the best to ensure the safety of the players (Gregory 44). It is not changing the core of football. He ascertains that it is not worth seeing players in troubles thirty years down the line, thus, taking the initiative to improve on the equipment they use in the field is paramount. Indeed, on introducing a product, it may take time before people adapt to it. Different groups are adapting to innovations which also include laggards. It may seem bad, but its significance shall be realized later. The NFL should not reduce its effort in ensuring the health of the players is not at stake as far as a concussion is concerning.

Training Referees

The escalation in concussion cases intrigues more thoughts and suggestions to be brought on the board. Seemingly, there have been numerous suggestions that have been proposed but received critics. It is discovered that many players are more prone to collision, thus, high chances of affecting the brain (Wolpert no pg.). The size of the players in the field also matters in their health security concerns. Reducing the number of footballers may be a hurdle, rather the NFL has added penalties for players who are aggressive to cause harm to their musketeers. Normally, referees are the ones in charge of the game. They control and observe how the game should be played. This means that they have the power to regulate the play. NFL found it beneficial to train the referees on how they could handle aggressive players who intend to harm other players. In a football match, there are yellow and records. The cards symbolize different things. A yellow card is used to warn a player against the offense being committed. At most, a yellow card is given two times, the third time results in a red card. On the other hand, a red card is given for chasing the player out of the pitch. It is given when the offense has done is more intense. It should be noted that the intention of the player is considered before being carded.

Additionally, in 2010, the referees were trained to stop the game if the player is in danger of head trauma. The league went ahead and provided rules which could prevent defenseless players from taking shots above their necks (Wolpert no pg.). This is a wise take to mitigate the head injuries which contribute to concussions. Also, players are prohibited from launching themselves off the ground while using a helmet to strike a player ruthlessly. Also, if a player loses the helmet, the play is whistled off. The way players tackle each other should be closely be monitored by the referees. The implementation of the set rules was done and monitoring is done to ensure no rule is broken.

Acknowledging the connection between the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and cranial trauma by the chief officer of the NFL is also a paramount step taken. In the past, the league had denied acknowledging the connection. In the past, around the 1920's it was believed that CTE only affected boxers. It was normally known to be "punch drunk syndrome". However, in recent days, neuropathological reports have been published confirming that other athletes, such as football can get CTE. (HIT MEN 5).


According to the research, at Boston University neurological, the problem with football is the weakening of the brain's protein of the players which may cause CTE. Thus, creating more sophisticated equipment including sensors to measure the intensity of collision and helmets is vital. Continuous concussion has severe manifestations which include rumbustious behaviors, paranoia, forgetfulness, and depression (Collection no pg.). This paper discusses the strategies put in place to curb concussion in the last 10 years.

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