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This is not here to preach about player safety. This is not here to provide statistical data on how many players end up with severe health issues after their playing careers end because of concussions. We know all that stuff already. It's never going to change if players don't make the effort to demand change.
I think it's come to the point where this is on the players. The leagues and the schools and the teams and the trainers can only do so much to protect players from injury.
If football helmets all came with giant metal spikes on them and players were constantly missing games because their arms, legs and eyes were getting gouged by these sharp spikes, wouldn't some player somewhere stop and ask if there's maybe a way to make the helmets without spikes?
Wouldn't some player get a bunch of his friends and teammates together to demand the league do a better job of providing safe equipment so they don't get gouged by sharp spikes? And if the league came back with the reply that it is doing all it can to keep the players safe but can't figure out a better option than a helmet with spikes, wouldn't it be prudent for the players to refuse to play until a safer resolution could be found?
I don't even really care if the NFL players want to scramble their brains in helmets that clearly don't protect them well enough. They get paid a ton of money when they choose to put their lives on the line. I'm more concerned about the mentality that trickles down from the NFL and college (and all professional sports, mind you) that toughness is rewarded over good sense. And that idea leads to our nation's youth trying to emulate the "rub some dirt on it" mentality at ages far too young to take that kind of beating.
Yeah, this became a "what about the kids" moment. It wasn't going to be, but hell, what about them?