FEEDBACK

Professional Football

January 29, 2010 • Volume 20, Issue 4
Is the NFL doing enough to protect players?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

Ben Roethlisberger passes against the Arizona Cardinals (Getty Images/Chris Graythen)
Concussion-prone Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passes against the Arizona Cardinals in last year's Super Bowl. This past November he suffered a concussion in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs and despite pressure from a teammate to play “hurt” the next week in a key game, he sat on the bench. (Getty Images/Chris Graythen)

Football is the most popular spectator sport in the United States, and with annual revenues topping $8 billion the National Football League is the country's wealthiest professional sports organization. But the league was on the defensive during the 2009–2010 season because of a jarring debate over its alleged indifference toward player safety and health. Medical research now indicates a connection between concussions that players routinely suffer during games and long-term brain disease, including dementia. Under pressure from the NFL Players Association, news media and Congress, the NFL is belatedly acknowledging a possible link and trying to minimize the risk to players by, among other changes, limiting a player's return to the game after a concussion. Despite football's popularity, the NFL is also facing economic difficulties. Attendance sagged during the 2009–2010 season, the future of lucrative TV contracts is cloudy and the league and the players' union start out far apart as negotiations begin for a new collective-bargaining agreement.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Professional Sports
Jan. 29, 2010  Professional FootballUpdated
Apr. 03, 2009  Extreme Sports
Jul. 23, 2004  Sports and DrugsUpdated
Sep. 25, 1998  The Future of Baseball
Feb. 10, 1995  The Business of Sports
Apr. 22, 1994  Soccer in America
Jul. 26, 1991  Athletes and Drugs
Feb. 09, 1990  Free Agency: Pro Sports' Big Challenge
Apr. 08, 1988  High Stakes of Sports Economics
Jan. 27, 1984  Advances in Athletic Training
May 21, 1982  Soccer in America
Jun. 28, 1974  Sports Business
Sep. 01, 1971  Professional Athletes
Jun. 12, 1963  Deaths and Injuries in Sports
Jul. 27, 1951  Monopoly Controls in Organized Sport
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Medical Research and Advocacy
FEEDBACK

Your Email Address

Subject

Provide Feedback

Suggest a topic here.

Type the characters you see below into the box

Take our survey to help us improve CQ Researcher!