Football Needs to Stop or Provide Better Player Safety - Argumentative Essay

Paper Type:  Argumentative essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  982 Words
Date:  2022-09-25


It is evident that football is the most popular ball game in the United States with the Super Bowl being the biggest sporting event in the U.S. calendar. In terms of revenue generation, NFL dwarfs Baseball and the NBA as the most profit-generating sporting organization in the United States. The beautiful game is, however, dodged with dangerous incidences that have led to serious injuries and cost the lives of football players. Pro football players risk suffering from concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from the constant head throttle they experience during matches. CTE is a progressive degenerative illness caused by repetitive trauma on the brain leading to loss of memory (McKee et al. 709). The NFL executives have done little to secure the safety of players with much of the security entrusted to third-party players such as gear manufacturers and regulatory bodies such as the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).

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Health specialists, players, and other stakeholders agree that football should be made safer in order to safeguard the health and lives of the players and the game at large. The process of making this sport safer is neither simple nor easy, nevertheless, it has to be done. Christopher Nowinski, the co-director of the Center for The Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, states that concentrating on CTE will not bring the required changes (Nowinski 1). Rather, stakeholders should focus on preventing the occurrence of injuries by reviewing the game.

The first review should be conducted on the NOCSAE standards governing the league. These standards were set by NOCSAE in 1973 following the death of football players due to the constant head throttle that led to fatal injuries. The guidelines stipulate the standards to be met by gear manufacturers. For instance, they stipulate that helmets should contain soft materials to absorb pressure from hits and should pass drop tests by remaining intact after hitting the ground from a height of 11 to 18 feet. Further, they should have a low severity index to prevent head injuries as well as be able to withstand high temperatures in excess of 1000F (380C). These rules have not been changed since then despite the vast advancement in technology.

The ineffectiveness of the helmets in preventing head injuries has been pointed out as the main reason for the increase in concussion and CTE cases (Omalu 38). The current helmets are made from hard plastic shells fitted with foam in the inside. Upon impact, the helmets transfer the force of the impact on the player's heads leading to traumas and concussions. Helmet manufacturers operate under outdated rules that no longer meet the safety needs of the players. These rules should be revised to ensure that the latest technology is employed in the manufacture of football gear that is secure, comfortable and effective.

Second, various proposals have been made concerning changing the rules of the game. Nowinski believes that the best way to bring safety to the field is by changing how the game is played at the youth level. New rules should be introduced at the youth, high school and semi-professional levels to ensure that the players graduating into pro football play safely and healthily. Nowinski proposes that head-first tackling should be discouraged as it leads to head injuries that could develop into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Allen Sack, a former football player and a professor at the University of New Haven proposes a reduction in the time players spend hitting in practice (Sack 1). Hitting is a major part of the football game and players spend time hitting in practice to gain a competitive edge over their competitors. Hits taken during practice have previously been as dangerous as those during actual matches. The NFL should discourage excessive and long-term hitting practices in order to safeguard its players.

NFL should do more to increase players' safety. The organization should invest in safer equipment such as helmets which are critical in protecting the players. Currently, NFL invested a paltry sixty million dollars as research grant under the Engineering Roadmap campaign in contrast with the $14 billion revenue it generated in 2017 (Fortunato 188). The NFL should consider partnering with gear manufacturers to develop safer helmets that are able to significantly reduce impact from hits and head-first tackles. The NFL should support research by offering financial and technical assistance to gear manufacturers.

Majority of concussions and CTE incidents result from direct hits experienced over a long period of time. To protect the players, the NFL in collaborations with individual franchises should limit the number of hits a player should take. For instance, the NFL should ask individual franchises to furnish it with training statistics to observe the distribution of hits across the players. The NFL should set a minimum of the hits a player can have in order to ensure that players do not suffer excessive damage from taking head-first tackles and hits. This would go a long way inn reduce players' exposure to dangerous moves.


In conclusion, life-saving changes should be introduced in order to secure the health and lives of pro footballers. Statistics show that some collisions happen at above 120 g-forces, which is equivalent to a car hitting a stationary wall at a speed of forty miles per hour. These changes would not only prolong careers of pro footballers but also secure them good health.

Works Cited

Foley, Katherine Ellen. Football will keep killing players until we change the way it's played. 1 February 2018. 29 October 2018.

Fortunato, John A. "Television Broadcast Rights." Routledge handbook of sports communication (2017): 188.

McKee, Ann C., et al. "Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in athletes: progressive tauopathy after repetitive head injury." Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology 69.7 (2009): 709-735.

Nowinski, Christopher. Better Game Rules Can Help. 3 October 2010. 29 October 2018.

Omalu, Bennet. "Chronic traumatic encephalopathy." Concussion. Vol. 28. Karger Publishers, 2014. 38-49.

Sack, Allen. Limit Hits During Football Practice. 27 March 2014. 29 October 2018.

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Football Needs to Stop or Provide Better Player Safety - Argumentative Essay. (2022, Sep 25). Retrieved from

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