My prayers go up for Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills player who collapsed on the field during a game on Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. This injury brings up the conversation surrounding the health of football players, not only professional players, but from little league players, middle and high school players, and college, and how the game impacts them physically.
Football has known to be America’s sport, but it can be a very dangerous sport and many players can get hurt from a variety of injuries. No matter how young or old you are, your body can only take so much. One example of this is Earl Campbell, who was a running back for the Houston Oilers. He was a phenomenal player who achieved so much during his time and even after his playing days were over. Though he had great success, the game of football left him with many medical challenges thereafter.
Campbell was diagnosed with a spinal condition, which could have left him paralyzed. It was also mentioned that by “today’s standards,” he would have never been allowed to play in the game. He also became addicted to painkillers to cope with the pain he experienced.
This is just one example of many players that have dealt and are currently dealing with injuries from the game of football. From sprains and bruises to concussions, every time a football player steps on the field, they are taking a risk with the physical and mental well being of their health.
I have a young son, who is too young for athletics right now, but I know one day he will want to play sports. Of course I plan to be supportive, but I will be nervous if he decides to play football. I know that with any sport you can get injured, but with football, getting hit all the time, can be damaging long term. For those who have played football whether professionally, for school, or just for fun, is it worth it? Is it worth the potential side effects that can greatly impact your quality of life?
I am not a football player, but I do know that we only get one life, and even though life can be dangerous just from walking outside, one hit in the game of football can change everything. My prayers go out to Hamlin and his family. May he recover soon and be able to live a full life.