Its been 6 years since Dave Duerson, a former National Football Player shot himself so that he could donate his brain to have further study. His goal was to help researchers investigate what had led him to such misery and depression to end his own life. It’s been 5years since Junior Seau, a pro linebacker compelled to take his own life. It’s been about 4 years since a Kansas City Chiefs, Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend and himself just outside with practice facility. Finally it’s been an eternal time since a research study about NFL found that the athletes will most likely develop a brain damage that could lead to serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which can lead to uncontrollable rage, mood swings, depression, memory loss…etc. Constant impact to the body and the head are normal for the Football Players. We can assume that long-term consequences of playing football will leave devastating and deadly results. With these on going controversial incidents more and more people are no longer in good conscience to watch football. Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic’s coach killed himself in 2012, after Seau’s death and lots of writers and reporters have turned against Football. However it is still mostly an extreme position. Thousands of people still continue to hype up and tune in for the NFL games. This does not only help the revenues earn profit but also bring people together. In conclusion, what should we do about it? The most unnecessary solution would be to involve the government attempting to end the game completely through coercive force. But what about our moral obligations as consumers? Should we refuse to support something that leads so predictably to the outcomes of playing football?
There are many ethical issues regarding Football, but the claims that both sides are making need to be analyzed thoroughly. People who are against watching the Football progress around the health, whether it is morally and ethically correct to enjoy a sport that ends in death. According to an article written by Angela Chen, brain injury was found in 99 percent of donated brains of the NFL players. The most common injury that NFL players have is CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) and it causes long term serious effects such as impaired judgment, aggression, aggression, memory loss and depression. This leads to the debate that if we’re watching football we should feel morally complicit in the injuries of the athletes because we are backing up a system that prefers money over the safety of the athletes. Some might argue that football players knew what they were getting into so we shouldn’t feel guilty but there’s no excuse to why football can’t be made safer. A wife of a former NFL player describes the changes that his husband went through; football destroyed his mind. She knew Football was a dangerous and knew any parent’s wouldn’t sign their boys up to play but was convinced by the NFL’s top medical experts who had denied any link between sport and long term degenerative brain disease like CTE. Is it worth putting people on risk by obscuring the reality and continue pushing to play more aggressively and Violently? A philosopher named Immanuel Kant’s ethics evolve around the notion of categorical imperative which is a principle stating that we should all behave in a way that they would wish others to act the same way; always respect humanity. He believes people should treat another rational being as an end in himself, not as a mere means. By using analogy of approaching different ways, the claims might be more logical and sound. We can imagine watching football as a thought of experience; prostitution has been legalized in the country.
Most libertarians would most likely view this as a win for justice and this would lead to consenting adults deciding whether or not they will engage in sex without getting punished by the government for their freedom of choice because they are making income without violating any rules. Still, if your own child wants to become a prostitute, you will definitely feel iffy and concerned about the danger of the work; contracting disease, harassment, emotional abuse…etc. From the consequentialist perspective, selling your body is morally a bad thing to do. We have all the rights to think something is wrong even if we are against being legally prohibited. From the libertarian’s perspective, people generally respect a person’s autonomy under the law and decision on how to make a living. But we have all the rights to not accept or encourage NFL player’s decisions if we believe what they are doing is objectionable. You can think of something you see as something wrong even if you believe it should be illegal. It is not morally right to watch athletes get seriously injured, leaving long term diseases that are inevitable because that is against the universal law. They believe as the same human beings, it is important to respect dignity and autonomy of one another.
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