By Ken Reed
Bob Costas, perhaps the nation’s most well-known and most-respected sports journalist, came out firing at football in general, and the NFL in particular, at a University of Maryland sports issues symposium recently.
“The issue that is most substantial, the existential issue, is the nature of football itself,” Costas told the crowd.
“The reality is that this game destroys people’s brains. You cannot change the basic nature of the game. I certainly would not let, if I had an athletically gifted 12- or 13-year-old son, I would not let him play football.”
Costas concluded by directing harsh words at those who doubt the growing mound of scientific research on brain trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
“There is this crazy notion that you hear on talk radio and some right-wing sites that this is just another left-wing conspiracy to undermine something that is quintessentially American,” he said. “There’s a word for things like that, there’s many words. One of them is bulls‑‑‑, because that’s what that is.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.