guyfromlouisiana wrote:I've spent a tremendous amount of time over the past few years thinking about this topic, as it pertains to American football. I was a big American football fan since I was a boy, but for two years now I haven't watched more than a few minutes, and I no longer cheer for any team. Scientists have been discovering for the past decade that an unknown number of players -- quite possibly a great many players -- sustain terrible brain damage and develop an illness called chronic traumatic encephalopathy that leads to early dementia, violent outbursts, depression, and frequently suicide. Here's one recent article on this issue: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/99322 ... src=mobile
I cheered for my team -- the New Orleans Saints -- for many years and I loved the players. I can't stand watching my favorite players slowly kill themselves. I think of my metta practice. "May all beings be safe from danger." Well, these players are certainly not safe from danger; by some estimates they sustain thousands of concussive and near-concussive hits to the head over their careers. "May all beings be mentally happy." This sport systematically destroys the mind. "May all beings be physically well." American football has long been known to leave players completely physically broken when they retire. "May all beings live with ease of well being." Again, systematic brain trauma and heightened risk for dementia cannot be classified as "living with ease."
So I spent much of my life cheering for football players to defeat (destroy is a better term) other football players. Why? For the honor of my city! For social interaction! For entertainment! There's nothing honorable about what is going on in American football -- especially since league doctors for decades denied that there was any increased risk of brain disease. Once I knew the damage being inflicted on countless plays every year, on each player on every single team, the game was no longer entertaining to me.
There's a great karmic cloud over the United States on the issue of American football, which is the country's most popular form of entertainment. I believe most Americans are choosing to live in denial or willful ignorance about this issue. It upsets me quite a lot, actually.
Totally disagree. The players know there is a major risk involved in playing and they choose to accept that risk -- for the money, for the glory or just for the thrill of playing. Nobody is forcing them. Furthermore, football does have cultural value. The best quality time I have with my dad and brother is while watching football. We bond over it in a totally wholesome way.