NFL needs to wake up to prevent its death

The NFL has been around for nearly 100 years and has provided football fans the world over with more than its fair share of thrills, spills and great sporting moments.

However, there is a now a groundswell of opinion, backed up by scientific research that things have gone too far and the nature of the sport is damaging players’ health in ways that may be irreversible as their lives move on.

A recent Boston University study found 100 of 111 brains of former NFL players tested positive for the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), meaning that professional football players have a high chance of suffering some kind of neurological problem.

Just days after the report was published Baltimore Ravens guard and maths genius John Urschel opted to walk away from the sport at the age of 26 and, although he stated the findings were not the only reason why he quit, there is no question it had a bearing on his actions.

Football is the personification of a contact sport and the wearing of helmets is thought to be one positive, but does it really help that much?

The sport of rugby, football’s equivalent across the rest of the globe, does not use helmets and, while impact injuries are commonplace, there does not seem to be the same furore over possible long-term head injuries.

With the kneeling protests that have marred games this season, the last thing the NFL wanted was another high-profile injury but that is exactly what they got as Houston Texans’ quarterback Tom Savage took a hit from 49ers defensive end Elvis Dumervil in a match earlier in December.

Fans watched on in horror as he was seen to twitch on the ground before being taken out of the game to be assessed by the medics.

However, despite obvious signs of distress, he was back in the huddle just a few minutes later as if nothing had happened.

The fact he was let back on the field has drawn fierce criticism from fans and doctors alike as it was felt that those who had assessed him should have pulled him from the game immediately.

The NFL is carrying out a review of the incident but what will it take before mistakes like this are eradicated from the game?

There seems no doubt that the sport is shooting itself in the foot and, while safety issues in other sports seem to be a priority, football has stood still in that respect.

But fans will still flock to see their heroes while betting on the sport is popular and for those who fancy an online flutter, why not take advantage of Guts sports betting bonus.

There is still the macho element of playing the game as it is the ultimate gladiatorial contest between outstanding physical specimens of both strength and speed, but young men fresh out of college need to be made aware that it does not matter how many pounds you can bench press if your brain is not working properly.

There have been many reports that the NFL will eventually kill itself as the public are no longer willing to witness the brutality seen on a Sunday and, while that is unlikely ever to happen, it is high time that the research was taken more seriously and money is spent to see what can be done to prevent what already appears to be an epidemic, from getting even worse.

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