Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers quarterback, is equally talented and skillful at spewing tones of ignorance as he is in evading pass-pushers. In an interview conducted recently, his response to whether he would allow his children play football both tone-deaf as well as perilous. In his reply, Newton who has an 8-month old son named Chosen, said he would let his boy play the game without hesitation. He wondered why parents would think otherwise in allowing their kids to play football. This leaves a lot of speculation on the impact of his words on the NFL Sport-book betting if people are going to take his words at their face value.
Zach Baron, the Newton’s interviewer, followed up the question with a statement that linked football to brain injuries. However, Newton opted to dismiss those concerns and instead chose to elaborate on the fun and joy that the game accords to the fans as well as the players. He added that it is indisputable that Super Bowl Sunday surpasses very TV rating that is known to man.
In yet another recent interview, Newton reiterated that every human endeavor has some risks that are directly or indirectly associated with it. Hence it is self-defeating to blow out of proportion the risks that accompany the game and at the same time not factor in the positive side of the game.
Joy would not suffice to describe the severe physical and mental suffering of the post career lives of most of the all-time greats whose struggle with brain injuries and trauma caused their early deaths. Mike Webster, a former Pittsburg Steelers player, was the first NFL player to be diagnosed with CTE. he is a classic case of a player who never enjoyed his last days . It is unimaginable that he lived out of his pickup truck as an addict of prescription drugs.
Football was also the cause why ex-Chicago Dave Duerson committed suicide. The suicide note he left behind indicated that he shot him in the chest in order to preserve his brain for the purposes of research. In May 2011 he was posthumously diagnosed with CTE, just a few months after his demise. The following may, Junior Seau, a 10- time all pro line-backer took his life by shooting himself in the chest. In early 2013, Junior was diagnosed posthumously with CTE.
The above stories are extreme; however, studies show that it is very normal for the football player to suffer from degenerative brain conditions when the active playing days are over. Researchers from Boston University announced in last fall that about 96% former NFL players who were examined tested positive for CTE.
Newton believes deeply that the rewards that accrue from playing the game far outweigh the associated risks. He demonstrated that the game serves as a springboard to superstardom. For, instance, the reigning NFL MVP raked a cool $12 million in the form of endorsement and he is also a fashion icon.
Regardless of the perceived benefits, it amounts to sheer reckless for Newton to disregard the potential dangers which have been already proven scientifically. By virtue of his position and influence in the game, he needs to recognize that his utterances have consequences.
Despite at least one of the NFL official acknowledging publicly the nexus between football and CTE, there has been a keen interest by the league to downplay the issue.
For purposes of fairness, the only realistic explanation for the Newton’s answer is ignorance. It is very unfortunate when powerful people disregard the facts on the table since this forms an impediment to the dissemination of the truthful information. We hope that the parents and the kids who are not yet decided about playing football will not take Newton advice and stand on the issue.