Hey Rugby Players, Shut Up

In light of recent developments in the research involving brain injuries and CTE in the NFL I’ve seen many English and Australian rules rugby and football players claiming the reason there are so many concussions in the NFL is because of too much protective equipment and lack of proper tackling skills. Too which my hasty retort is: No, Casper, the reason there are so many concussions in the NFL is because the biggest, fastest, meanest athletes in the world all get together, take every performance enhancing drug in the world to get stronger and faster, then go out every Sunday and run into each other with the force of a Mini Cooper. 

Rugby and Australian rules football players seem to take a lot of pride in their tackling technique and appear to find the American style of football vulgar in its power and strength over technique methods of tackling. What I’m wondering is if they aren’t in for a rude awakening themselves when the statistics come in about CTE and brain damage in their own sports. 

Or maybe they do just seriously believe the way they play the game is better. In that case I’d invite them to hit a training camp, even with the new collective bargaining rules limiting the number of full contact practices. Better yet, maybe those practices could be done under Australian rules. The NFL players would probably appreciate the rest.

Either way, CTE and brain damage cause by concussion is no laughing matter, and I found the NFL commercial during last night’s Super Bowl game extolling the joy and virtue of children playing full contact football a little disturbing. No, I found it more than a little disturbing. I found it tone deaf. 

 

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