Jeffrey Orridge stated at his State of the CFL address that concussions have not been directly linked to playing football: “Last I heard, it’s still a subject of debate in the medical and scientific community,” Orridge told reporters. “The league’s position is that there is no conclusive evidence at this point. And as I said, we continue to work with them and monitor the progress that they’re making in terms of getting a greater understanding of whether or not there is a linkage.”
I know that there is a current concussion lawsuit being brought against the CFL, but to deny the overwhelming evidence that football is dangerous is absurd. The NFL is being sued by players and even though they had their head in the sand for years on this issue, they finally did admit to it.
My problem is the refusal to acknowledge the problem could keep the CFL from doing all they possibly can to improve player safety. The CFL has made great strides on player safety and concussion protocol during games, but more must be done.
The real problem is not the guys currently playing: It is the older players who are suffering. These players do not get the medical attention they deserve because they do not have the necessary insurance or pension that they should have. The big takeaway from the State of the CFL address was the fact that former players’ problems are still not being addressed.
Just like the NFL, current players seem to not worry too much about retired players because, let’s face it. when you are 23 in the NFL or CFL. you think it will last forever. But, the truth is that in the CFL the average player will play an average of three years. Yet, In the CFL’s defense, these guys have been playing since a young age and most times the damage has been done in youth, high school or college football. In the long run, if the CFL can’t even admit that a problem caused by football exists, that will be a huge problem.
The reason I say they will have a problem is at some point parents will wise up and realize young kids with still-developing brains should not be playing football.When that happens, football will slowly start to disappear. Now if they admit there is a problem and start taking care of the men that made the league what it is, then they have a shot to fix the game. The CFL and NFL need to develop a plan to make the game safer. In the end, if they don’t, the game of football may not even be around in 20 years.