How to Stop The Conncussion Epidemic
The NFL has many issues that it has to deal with right now. There is a labor dispute that threatens football in 2011. The current agreement which creates an uncapped year and other penalties for players and teams can create some havoc on the league this year. The former players are voicing their opinions about being upset on how they are ignored in retirement. And what is the biggest issue? Concussions.
This has been all over the news lately, from the cover of Time magazine, to a featured report on Outside the Lines, and has been mentioned on pretty much every talk show in the country.
There are many theories on how to solve the issue, ranging from changing the rules, to the equipment or the culture of the game itself. Well I have a theory that will help solve he problem, by changing the culture. Give NFL players guaranteed contracts.
Many players who are in the later years of the careers are let go because of injury. Without a guaranteed contract teams can just tell a player thanks for your service but you are an injury risk and we do not want to pay you. This will lead a player to hide symptoms, and just go out and play. Why? Because if they do not play, and with the new rules on sitting out games when you have a concussion, they will be forced to miss a game, teams can easily let them go. This may not be an issue for the superstars who are raking in millions of dollars each season, but the second string guys who maybe get a handful of plays per game and do not bring in the big money are affected and are more likely to go out and play no matter what.
With the collective bargaining agreement being renegotiated right now, it is time to give players guaranteed contracts, or a clause that says players can't be released due to injury. If a player knows his contract is safe even when he is hurt, then maybe he won't be afraid to tell the coach he can't see straight when he is out on the field.
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