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Ethical Question for You All

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Captain Cliche, Oct 20, 2010.

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  1. Captain Cliche

    Captain Cliche On the Game Day Roster

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    I have thinking of starting this thread for some time and maybe in light of the Merriweather issue it is a little relevant.

    The question is:

    Do you ever consider that you are contributing in some small way to the fact that some, if not most of these healthy young athletes are going to spend their later years as cripples?

    What got me thinking along these lines is a friend of mine that has a neck injury from high school football. There is a restriction in his spinal column from improper tackling technique. At times his arm goes mumb and is effictively useless. This condition is inoperable...no surgeon will go near the area. This is from a few years of high school football. Imagine the damage someone like Rodney Harrison sustains from all those years and all those collisions.

    Obviously this has not stopped me from being a fan and watching the games, but I know I am in some tiny way contributuing to this reality for my entertainment.
     
  2. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Never thought of it that way. They are doing what they love and getting paid for it though, they know the risks.
     
  3. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I've thought about it, especially in regards to Welker. I really wonder what his post-football life is going to look like.

    Of course, like has already been said, most players fully understand and accept the risks. That's why they demand the money, and why the union is getting on its horse to increase the scope of post-retirement benefits.
     
  4. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Never thought of it like that!

    But if they didn't want to, there are 1000s of others who would :)
     
  5. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    that goes for alot of things.

    when you're buying coal aren't you contributing to black lung

    heck everything we buy from china is made by workers who are paid slave wages

    police officers and fire fighters put their lives on the line

    what about military personnel putting their lives on the line so we can have oil and materialism

    I think they get compensated well
     
  6. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    A lot of the ethical questions relate to the old time players--they're crippled AND poor. The compensation of the modern player changes the equation a bit. Plus, with improved surgical techniques, and the fact that these guys take better care of themselves, there's no reason to think that they will become "cripples" as you put it.
     
  7. BSR

    BSR In the Starting Line-Up

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    I was going to say the same basic thing.

    Ever buy your wife a diamond? Great job contributing to the wage slavery in S. Africa.

    At the end of the day however, your action/inaction is inconsequential in the cause and effect equation. If you actually wanted to make an impact on that cause then you would need a much stronger action. In other words: No, I don't worry about it and don't think it is an ethical question.

    I think a better question is whether or not you consider yourself a sadist for watching this young men bash each other's heads in.
     
  8. Haley

    Haley In the Starting Line-Up

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    Yes I think it is a little immoral, just as I think eating meat is a little immoral.

    However, I haven't stopped either practice. Curtailed maybe but haven't stopped. (e.g. Generally, I would support initiatives to limit injuries among players as well as those to provide them medical care later in life)

    I guess I'm slightly immoral. :p

    @MrBigglesWorth: I think you missed the bit about this being for entertainment purposes. That is the part that makes it potentially unethical.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  9. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I have never thought of it that way but it is interesting to stop and think. However I will also say that EVERY little thing I buy or contribute to is likely in some way, shape or form to contribute to something less than "good". I also understand that there is a lot of good that I am contributing to. The NFL surely donates large sums of money to "good" causes. The athletes also choose to take these career paths and they are far more responsible than I am when it comes to looking out for their personal well being. Most, if not all, of them must believe that the benefits outweigh the risks. I don't feel an obligation to fight for player safety or work conditions either. Just like I don't think anyone else (especially not the customers of my place of employment) has the obligation of looking out for my personal working conditions and health. Let the players (and their unions) work out what is best for their combined interests.
     
  10. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    It bothers me.

    It diminishes my enthusiasm for football.

    If effective steps aren't taken to reduce the predictable brain damage from football, I will stop watching or supporting the sport altogether.
     
  11. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They're freely choosing to play a game that's legal and making them wealthy, just as I freely chose to play the game for free. People die on crab boats. People die working on power lines. People die harvesting grain.

    I'm not seeing where the average person's ethics would really come into play here. I assume it's more than the game v. "real" job issue, because people have died in Baseball and basketball, and probably every other stress creating activity, as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  12. Gwedd

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    The athletes are adults. They have made a rather well-informed decision. They are well-compensated for what they do. They can walk away at any time and do something else.

    So, no. I'm not worried about it at all.
     
  13. MassPats38

    MassPats38 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Most professions carry inherent risks, whether you are a soldier, a police officer, a doctor, etc. Football is no different. The same could be said of most popular professional sports. If a player suffers brain trauma after taking a line drive to the head in baseball, should the audience feel responsible?

    And while playing in the NFL takes a toll, for those players who would not be characterized as the world's great thinkers the relevant question is would it be better to live a few moments in the spotlight or a lifetime in relative anonymity? Is it better to have something or have nothing? For all the horror stories presented, there are more than 1700 players on active NFL rosters who make substantially more than the national average for income. How many of those players would be better off away from the NFL? The skills required for football do not translate well in the business world.
     
  14. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I guess your 52 inch plasma isn't for entertainment purposes:rolleyes:
     
  15. Haley

    Haley In the Starting Line-Up

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    Ha... Your list consisted of oil, coal, military, police and fire, but whatever.

    And yes, I would view that as slightly immoral too ...if I had one :p
     
  16. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    Have you guys watched the recent specials about oil industry toxic waste dumping in Bolivia?

    Seems there are a lot more worrisome things in the world than football, so the short answer is NO, I'm not concerned about the ethics of it.

    I do what I can to argue the the youth programs and Boys and Girls clubs being shut down a few blocks from me while major money is being wasted on idiocy in my city. Some people around me should feel really guilty about that.
     
  17. MustaphaM0nd

    MustaphaM0nd On the Game Day Roster

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    The old time players also got an actual education before playing, so they were more prepared for life post-football. The only former player I know (hint: he once lit up the Boston Patriots as a quarterback for the Houston oilers) went on to become a successful real estate developer.
     
  18. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative In the Starting Line-Up

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    Yes, it does bother me a bit. Not so much for the NFL players, but knowing that I am contributing to a set of social norms that will eventually lead to children and other amateurs being physically harmed.

    There are many days when I find myself fed up with football, and all professional sports, for this and similar reasons.
     
  19. T-cat

    T-cat Practice Squad Player

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    Well i decided to comment on this certain subject cause i am a military service member and i just wanted to say i honestly hate my job, it sucks. But if it weren't for the people supporting me id be insane by now lol but the average nfl player gets paid about 100000x more then me. I get about 1,100 a month and that's before the military takes random crappy out of my pay check and nfl players are worried about getting hurt while im worried about getting killed its ridiculous so i say just let them play
     
  20. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, it worries me a lot.

    But.

    1. Football =/= boxing. The injuries and damage are not the point. I don't watch football to see guys pummeled -- though I recognize the bravery and discipline that can't be separated from the violence. I don't think I'm a sadist.

    2. Voluntariness makes a big difference. I haven't played football but I have engaged (do engage) in dangerous sports and paid the price. Football players love football.

    3. The fact that former players aren't covered medically by such a rich League turns my stomach, but a great deal of the blame comes down to the players union. If the idea of a union means anything, surely it should mean looking after those who pay the price.

    4. Brain injuries are terrible and the League has been incredibly slack in monitoring them and protecting players -- compared obviously to rugby (diagnosis of concussion is by an independent doctor and leads to an automatic three-week recovery period).

    5. But brain injuries aren't the only thing that upsets me. I'm morally certain that PEDs are rife in the League. And the mortality rate of many of these young ex-players convinces me that the long-term effects are coming through. It's bad enough for people who've had a well-paid professional career, but it's pretty clear that things are almost as bad in college, where most of the athletes will end their careers without a big payday.

    Again, I blame the players' union for resisting serious drug controls. They should be at the head of those clamouring for them.

    All in all, the NFL is a great sport and I love it. But I can't be blind to those things.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
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