Former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed recently gave a passionate appeal for the NFL to take better care of players on The Rich Eisen Show. The mercurial ballhawk played through a dangerous nerve impingement in his neck and shoulder for many seasons, and is not satisfied with the medical support he has received since retiring in 2013.
The interview in its entirety can be found here. Some of his most piercing soundbites:
Reed clearly believes NFL players are entitled to more assistance from the league. He also mentioned that the NBA players association does a better job of looking out for players than the NFL players association.
The issue of player safety and retirement benefits is complicated. Without a doubt, the NFL should not have concealed the effects of concussions and should rightfully pay out the pending billion dollar settlement to former players who suffer from brain injuries. Furthermore, the league should absolutely provide all retirement benefits agreed upon in the collective bargaining agreement.
However, now that the long term risks of concussions are better understood, should football be viewed in the same way as other dangerous professions - including boxers, MMA fighters, fishermen, loggers, miners, roofers, firefighters and policemen - are, with willful choice of hazardous employment in mind?
At this point, with the risks of football well known, players have the information to make a risk/reward analysis and decide if they want to play this full contact sport. For all of the mistakes the NFL has made, the league does provide an opportunity for athletes to earn generational money for their families. How to fairly manage player safety and compensation in the future is a nuanced question.
*More information on The Rich Eisen Show can be found here.
Does the NFL have a moral obligation to do more for former players?
This poll is closed