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Players V. Nfl Essay

1695 words - 7 pages

The book Justice by Michael J. Sandel offers many theories that can be implemented in the things that are currently surround us. Michael J. Sandel mentions Immanuel Kant a philosopher that believes that we are rational beings, worthy of dignity and respect (Sandel, 2009, p. 104).On August 29, 2013 the National Football League (NFL) agreed to pay 765 million dollars to more than 4,500 former players that sued from concussions (Belson, 2013). The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) defines a concussion as a clinical syndrome characterized by an immediate and transient alteration of mental status and level of consciousness, resulting from mechanical force or trauma (Dunn, ...view middle of the document...

The NFL is a violent, dangerous place where every player who comes on the field puts his body and health, physical and mental, short-term and long-term, on the line. (Felt, 2013, p. 3). The NFL players know the risks of playing and continue to play, this gives no liability to the NFL in paying for injuries they are aware happen.
The NFL has certain guidelines for returning to the game after a head injury and many of these are ignored. The policy states that, "a player could not return to a game or practice in which he lost consciousness and a player must be completely asymptomatic and pass his neurological test normally before returning to play"(Anderson, 2013, p. 22). Over 51 percent of the players who suffered a reported concussion either continues playing after little to no rest or returned to play in the same game after briefly resting on the bench(Gove, 2013, p. 661). Players return to field so quickly because they fear for the position. Kant states that we are rational beings, capable of reason a pure practical reason and that there is a "maxim" a reason for your action (Sandel, 2009, p. 118). The "maxim" for the football players returning to the game is to avoid losing their position or getting less playing time. According to Sean Dotson (2010), twenty percent of one hundred sixty NFL players surveyed in 2009 admit to hiding or downplaying symptoms of a possible concussion in order to stay in the game or continue playing throughout the season (p. 19). So at this point the NFL has no responsibility for players downplaying their symptoms or returning to the field right after a head injury. The players are lying to the fans, the team, and most importantly to themselves. This is something that goes against Kant's beliefs.
The NFL retried players want money for concussions that occurred while they played but cannot prove that the reason for their illness is from the concussions received while playing for the NFL. An article by Kelly Dunn (2013) states that, NFL players will have difficulty proving which collisions contributed to their later problems: the ones from pee-wee play, high school, college, or the pros(p. 11). If they themselves do not know what collision caused it, then how can the point fingers at the NFL and blame them? "The mere fact that a group of people in the past agreed to a constitution is not enough to make that constitution just," I relate Kant's belief to the current NFL lawsuit, just because a group of retired NFL players decide that the NFL is guilty of their illnesses does not mean they are correct (Sandel, 2009, p. 139). If the NFL players cannot prove that a concussion that they received years ago is to blame for their illness then why should the NFL give them any money? Jeff Standen, a dean North Kentucky University states, "It would be difficult to prove a direct link between concussion in the N.F.L. and the players' health now because most players also played football in high school and college, when they...

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