ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Maybe It's Time to Boycott the N.F.L.

Updated on June 15, 2015

Maybe it's time to boycott the N.F.L

Maybe it’s time to boycott the N.F.L. OK--that's an exaggeration. We all know that will never happen. Football has become the biggest and most popular sport in America, by far. It now rakes in $10 billion a year, with huge profit margins, making 32 already rich men even richer. If you listen to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the league is on track to take in $25 billion by the year 2027. The owners are thrilled! But there just might be a dark side to all this elation; all this monetary growth. Some real problems exist behind the gigantic numbers. And it starts with what is happening to the gigantic men who wear the numbers.

On September 12, an article appeared in the New York Times stating that the N.F.L. now admits that at least one in three of its players will develop long-term cognitive problems once they retire. Remarkably, this is the first time the N.F.L. admitted such a thing. But this is not news to the poor retired players who have been fighting severe bouts of depression, losing concentration and their memories, not to mention the severe headaches they wake up to every morning. These are symptoms the N.F.L. refused to see, or wouldn’t acknowledge, or turned a blind eye to. They let the old warriors, the ones who put their bodies on the line to make the game what it is today, deal with theses debilitating issues on on their own. The N.F.L. has a brand to protect after all. Only after it was sued by a group of former players did it do something about it. And what did it do? It eventually settled with this group for $675 million over the players lifetimes to cover injuries and diseases linked to head trauma that the players sustained during their careers. $675 million!? That's 6.75% of the revenue the owners of these franchises make in a single year! The judge hearing this case wisely put aside this dubious settlement, doubting that it was sufficient to cover the costs of all the medical claims that will be made in the future. She made both parties come back with more detailed projections to back up their numbers.

It is now indisputable that all the head banging play after play, has taken a toll on these once indestructible supermen. And now, football players are getting bigger, faster, and stronger, and it seems obvious to me, that these younger players’ bodies and brains will take an even bigger toll in the future, despite all the rule changes that were made to protect the players. You know, the ones that the old school, hard-nosed football fan says is turning “his league”, “his game”, into one made for “sissies”. Listen to sports talk shows, and you’d think that because of the rule changes, the players should be wearing skirts! I guess these fans, so full of machismo, don’t know that some former players, including Junior Seau, Andre Waters, and Dave Duerson, killed themselves, most likely due to the severe brain injuries suffered while playing this he-man's game.

The N.F.L.’s history of dealing with chronic problems of their former employees is embarrassing. It routinely and continually denied that players were getting concussions severe enough, or often enough, to cause brain damage. The league set up bogus committees to deal with these "supposed" problems. They hired their own doctors to support their findings, while at the same time undermined the findings of independent doctors and other advocates who claimed that players were developing brain damage. These doctors and advocacy groups who had the guts to bang heads with the powerful N.F.L. were bullied by the league, had their reports suppressed, and made out to be a bunch of hysterics. But the evidence was visible for many years. All the league had to do was open its eyes. All it had to do was look at Mike Webster, the Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steeler center, who after he retired went on a downward spiral of homelessness, depression, bankruptcy, and finally death, all most likely due to brain damage suffered during his many years as an N.F.L. player. But the N.F.L. couldn't be bothered. They were making too much money. The fan base was getting bigger every year. The value of their franchises was tripling. Nobody wanted to say anything that might spoil the fun.

And now all the brouhaha over the Ray Rice domestic violence incident. Sure, we all know now that he battered his then fiance, with a punch that knocked her unconscious. Then he dragged her listless body out of the elevator into the hallway, kicked her, stepped on her, didn’t even bother to pull her dress down over her exposed behind. Before the recent TMZ video was released, Roger Goodell suspended him for two games. After the video, he suspended Rice indefinitely, and the team he played for, the Baltimore Ravens released him. Strange timing don’t you think? The N.F.L. knew nothing about this video? This big powerful business worth billions of dollars does not have the ability to find a video that TMZ—a gossip website easily found? Does anyone really believe this?

Let’s judge the NFL for what it really is. A great game? Sure; that’s what the majority of Americans think. But it also an insulated rich man’s club, that goes about its business without following laws, rules, and regulations that most human beings and corporations have to follow. This is a business where 33% of their employees will develop brain damage sustained during their employment! I run a business, albeit a small one, but if 33% of my employees developed brain damage while on the job, I'm sure I would be held, at least, somewhat responsible. But the N.F.L. seems to make its own rules and only decides to punish or act when the public outcry gets too strong. And then, it is usually, too little and too late. But that doesn’t stop them from raking in tons of money. Maybe it is time to boycott the N.F.L.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)