You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Charles McDonald: The NFL is the last organization in the world that should be trusted with anyone's health
AP

Charles McDonald: The NFL is the last organization in the world that should be trusted with anyone's health

  • Updated
  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on before Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Gardens, Florida, on February 2, 2020.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on before Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Gardens, Florida, on February 2, 2020. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/TNS)

As the NFL prepares to rise from the ashes and play football in the middle of an uncontained pandemic, there's an important question that needs to be asked:

After seeing how the NFL has treated its own players, why should it be trusted with the health of larger populations?

The United States as a whole hasn't done nearly enough to safely return to professional sports. Now a league that's shown callous disregard for its players for decades is going to successfully navigate the coronavirus?

The NFL fumbled its way through concussion lawsuits, been stingy with benefits for retired players and been tough on marijuana use despite pumping players full of addictive painkillers. For the NFL, the most important thing is making money - no matter how many players' bodies pile up on the way to the mountaintop of eternal wealth.

As bad as that is, though, at least concussions and shredded ligaments aren't contagious. Now the virus means far more lives are at risk for the NFL's pursuit of its bottom line. The league isn't exactly reassuring its devoted fans that it cares about their lives, either.

The NFL pushed for teams to have two fan events during training camp. Fan events. At practice. In the middle of a pandemic. This serves no purpose besides squeezing every penny that they can out of a situation that will certainly affect league revenue this year.

Players have spoken out about the challenges of returning to football right now, including New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, who correctly stated that football is not an essential business. The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to social distancing policies for training camp, but it's a bit difficult to social distance while tackling and blocking people at full speed for hours at a time.

The NFL is going to be in charge of the impossible task of containing a contagious disease while playing a sport that is rooted in the violence of repeated physical contact. Nothing that this league has produced this year or any other year should inspire confidence in the general public that NFL players won't become ATMs for COVID-19 in the fall; no other American league's restart has provided a blueprint for playing safely.

Getting through the offseason was the easy part! As everyone saw, free agency, the draft and playbook install can be done virtually and safely. Now, the hard issues are peeking their head around the corner.

The sheer size and popularity of the league makes it an important player in public health. It's a role it hasn't earned, and one that Americans should be wary of.

The United States' battle against coronavirus is going more poorly than ever, with more than 50,000 new cases a day for the past week. NFL players are going to get sick, and infect their teammates, coaches, and families. Each of those cases will have been preventable, and directly caused by the NFL's profit-chasing.

Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com

0
0
0
0
0

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

The Rock is now an owner of the XFL. Actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson has teamed with business partner Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital, a private investment firm run by former Goldman Sachs executive Gerry Cardinale, to buy the spring football league that filed for bankruptcy in April. The partnership has acquired XFL parent company Alpha Entertainment LLC for $15 million ...

LOS ANGELES - Protocols to stave off the spread of the novel coronavirus are in place at the Los Angeles Rams' facility. Players get tested daily. They wear masks and practice social distancing. Star defensive lineman Aaron Donald is getting accustomed to the new reality. But the six-time Pro Bowl player earns his living in tight quarters along the line of scrimmage. Once full-speed practices ...

The Detroit Lions announced Tuesday that quarterback Matthew Stafford did not have COVID-19 after a false positive test last week. But that didn't spare the family the fear of the disease, and in some cases, the isolation and ridicule from the public. Stafford's wife, Kelly, posted a message on Instagram about an hour after the Lions cleared up their quarterback's status. Kelly Stafford, who ...

CHICAGO - As the Chicago Bears conduct an unusual training camp in Lake Forest, the Chicago Tribune takes a closer look at the quarterback competition. ___ - QBs currently on roster: 3. - QBs projected on final roster: 2. - Roster locks: Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles. - Practice squad candidates: Tyler Bray. - Biggest offseason developments: The Bears let backup quarterback Chase Daniels' ...

PHILADELPHIA - Eagles coach Doug Pederson tested positive for the coronavirus and was quarantining at home Sunday night, the team confirmed in a statement. "We received confirmation this evening that head coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COVID-19," the statement read. "Pederson is asymptomatic and doing well. He is currently in self-quarantine and in communication with the team's ...

It's been 2,000 years since one person calmed the Tempest. This time it will take many villages, many men and women of a lower authority, and many brains to overcome those who obviously don't have any. As NFL teams board their ships and head into training camps on rough, impossibly predictable seas, there is no person, man or woman, around now to quickly flatten the invisible swell, or build a ...

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News