The Guilt Behind Watching Football


In light of the upcoming season, Will Leitch writes about the well documented cruelty of the NFL for New York Magazine:

Leitch, although unsure of how his fandom will be affected, makes valid points against watching a sport in which players risk their future health:

“Baseball’s spring training is all about the smell of freshly cut grass, about renewal, about being eternally young, about hope. Football’s training camp is about fighting for your right to exist, about weeding out the weak, about grueling two-a-days, about a boot camp where you’re expected to run until you puke and then get back up and run some more. It is about destroying yourself in order to live.”

The brutal violence of the sport has been garnering more and more attention from sports commentators and players themselves. Specifically, the issue of multiple concussions threatening the future well-being of players:

“Last May, Jets linebacker Bart Scott said something curious. ‘I don’t want my son to play football,” Scott said. “I play football so he won’t have to. With what is going on, I don’t know if it’s really worth it … I don’t want to have to deal with him getting a concussion and what it would be like later in life.'”


Jack Taylor is a Rumpus Intern, gangly fellow, and Steal the Bacon enthusiast. More from this author →