Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Christian Responsibility

Okay, this is me on my soapbox. I do this once a year or so, and this is my once a year. I will keep it short. More reports of NFL players suffering from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). A New York Giants safety, Tyler Sash, recently died from an overdose of painkillers and when his brain was examined it was found to have a level of CTE rarely seen in someone his age (just 27 -- but CTE has been found in the brain of an 18-year-old, too). Of course, CTE can only be determined during a postmortem examination, so what do they really know?

Junior Seau, who committed suicide, had CTE. Frank Gifford had it. And the list of living players who exhibit signs of CTE is long: Bernie Kosar, Jim McMahon, Tony Dorsett, Brett Favre are a few of the names on the list.

I used to watch football. All the time. Well, NFL stuff. I was never really into college. So this is not coming from someone who never cared about the game -- I get its appeal. But I don't watch it now. (To be honest, I do see some parts of games when the tv is on, but I turn it off when no one else is watching and I never watch it any other time, nor do I ever just sit and watch.) And the reason I don't watch is CTE. 

There are other issues, too -- players who can barely walk after their careers are over, permanent damage to bones and joints. But CTE pushed it over the line for me.

I know that the players are adults who willingly put themselves in harm's way. I don't think football should be outlawed or anything. But I wonder if a Christian should watch for entertainment something that causes lasting and irreversible damage to another human being. Just for fun. I think the answer is "no." Your mileage may vary. Here is a link to a thoughtful article that raises some questions that Christians should consider about the sport.

More later...

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