Junior Seau's brain disease puts NFL gladiator mentality into perspective
Hopefully the results of Junior Seau's Brain disease study will help us to understand the NFL gladiator mentality and make the game of football safer.
The NFL gladiator mentality
In ancient Rome gladiators performed armed combat entertaining audiences in grand outdoor stadiums. Crowds cheered as they watched gladiators compete in violent confrontations with other gladiators. The gladiators value as entertainers was celebrated throughout Roman culture.
Much like gladiators football players entertain fans in grand outdoor stadiums for the honor of their team and their cities. Much like gladiators part of the game that excites the fans are violent hits on individual players. Football stars are celebrated and their value as entertainers permeates throughout American pop culture.
Junior Seau was the ultimate gladiator
Junior Seau was a linebacker in the National Football League known for his passionate playing style. Seau played college football at the University of Southern California. The San Diego Chargers took Seau with the fifth overall pick of the 1990 NFL Draft.
Seau was celebrated as a star for 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Seau also spent three years with the Miami Dolphins, and four years the New England Patriots. Seau was a 12 time Pro Bowl selection, and named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.
In 2012 at the age of 43, Seau committed suicide with a gun shot wound to the chest. It was generally believed that Seau spared his head so it could be studied.
Studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a type of chronic brain damage caused from many blows to head during his NFL career.
Making the game of football safer
The National Football League is part of modern American culture and modern American business where employers have an obligation to make the work place as safe as possible. This isn't ancient Rome where gladiators fight to the death, and human life is an expendable part of the product of entertainment.
Making the work place safer does not mean preventing all accidents and injuries. It means using as many resources as possible to reduce the probability of injury.
Decades ago people worked in factories, steel mills, and coal mines, where the production of their product was often placed ahead of the safety of the workers. Over the years working conditions improved as laws were enacted to ensure worker safety.
Funny how the National Football League is finally catching up with other industries where outsiders to the business are starting to see where the production of their
product was often placed ahead of the safety of the workers.