Football Is Violent And Is Marketed That Way

In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt demanded the game be made safer.

The New York Times has discovered that football is a violent game after the on-field incident in a  Monday Night Football  game on January 2nd which saw Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin suffer cardiac arrest after a play. It is unknown why Hamlin went into cardiac arrest. There was also quite a bit of concern as to how to finish the game like the game really mattered. For the record, Cincinnati had a 7-3 lead. The game had playoff implications. The NFL did suspend play which is more than the league did in 1971 when Detroit’s Chick Hughes died on the field on October 24th in a game against Chicago. The final one minute and two seconds of that game was completed. Hughes is the only NFL player to die on the field. Al Lucas who played for the Arena Football League’s  Los Angeles Avengers died from an in-game neck injury in April 2005.

In 1963, Kansas City Chiefs running back Stone Johnson died 10 days after he broke his neck in an exhibition game against the Houston while blocking on a kickoff return. In 1960, tackle Howard Glenn of the New York Titans, injured his neck on a play and died soon afterward. Washington tackle Dave Sparks, in 1954, and Chicago Cardinals tackle Stan Mauldin, in 1948, died of heart attacks after games. Football sells violence. The first real television marketing push selling violence came on CBS in 1960 with the showing of “The Violent World of Sam Huff”. Huff was with the New York Giants at that time. In 1905 The President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt threatened to ban football after a reported 40 players died over a two year period from football injuries. Roosevelt demanded the rules of the game be changed to make football safe. More than 117 years later, football remains violent.

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Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin is examined during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)