Let’s face it. Football fans don’t much care that the constant hitting and brain-smashing action is killing the athletes of the National Football League — a fact that is overwhelmingly proven in Tuesday’s PBS Frontline series, “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.”
So you could probably scroll right past most of the two hours of some of the finest sports journalism that one of the influential sports corporations –ESPN — tried to put the kibosh on.
Instead, fast forward to 1:24:17 — the part where the evidence is presented that it’s killing kids, too.
“I actually remember sitting at a practice and hearing the young one, the 8-year-old, they were doing that drill where you line up and run at each other as fast as you can. And I remember him getting all excited to the coach: ‘Yes, that’s what I want to hear, the crack of the helmets against each other.’ And I remember sitting there thinking, oh, no, this can’t be right,” Lisa McHale told the program.
Her husband was a linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He died of a drug overdose when he was just 45.
The NFL will respond to whatever fingers are pointed at it in the ways corporations often try to deflect evidence.
Knowing the program was coming, the NFL last month posted on its website that the “concussion issue continues to grow“… in Major League Baseball.
It would be silly to imagine the NFL doing much more than circling the wagons and marshaling its considerable PR muscle in the wake of the damning broadcast.
But at youth football practices around the country, there are, no doubt, going to be some parents wondering “what are we doing here?”
(Frontline will host a live online chat on the show’s findings Wednesday at 12 p.m. CT here.)