LETTER TO THE EDITOR: NFL players not indestructible

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I am not a football fan, but I do listen to and watch local news broadcasts, so I am aware of the recent health tribulations of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (“RG3’s knee surgery included medial meniscus repair,” Web, Thursday).

The decision to allow an injured RG3 to continue playing in the playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks underscores how skewed our priorities have become and how entrenched our cultural wackiness is. Ours is a society that has become obsessed with fame and dominated by entertainment, more than a substantial portion of which consists of sports. Mr. Griffin is a franchise player and his health and longevity should not have been imperiled for our momentary entertainment. I do not agree with D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray that had the Redskins won the game, Mr. Griffin’s lingering, limping presence on the field would have been viewed as courageous rather than controversial. An outcome must never color and distort the perception of the actual, underlying facts.

Now that RG3 has had surgery, most of the talk is about how soon this rookie phenomenon will be able to “come back.” Few involved seem to be considering the escalating inhumanity of professional football. It is, after all, played by mortal men. There is increasing frequency of early-onset dementia and suicide among former players. More than 2,000 of them are now suing the National Football League for knowingly jeopardizing their health. The National Institutes of Health just released the results of its analysis of NFL linebacker Junior Seau’s brain, finding chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease that results from repeated blows to the head.



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