knapplc wrote:The whole "free will" thing is the first major reach
Obviously players ultimately choose to put on the pads, of course, can't disagree there. However, I think it's more complicated then simply labeling it 'free will'. We are all familiar with the pressures put on players at all levels, whether it be parents, coaches, teammates, or the media. We have seen countless reports of players being 'forced' into something they wouldn't normally subject themselves to. Whether it be gaining more weight or ignoring an injury, we probably all know a someone, or have done it ourselves, in order to stay on the field. Yeah, anyone could say 'no', sure, but how often do you think that happens? There's enormous pressure to stay competitive and I would go so far as to suggest that anyone of us would put ourselves in harm's way in order to play on Sundays.
knapplc wrote:the concept that football automatically = severe damage to your body is another.
Of course it's not automatic, but it's close. You have a few players over the years who have retired 'in their prime' because they wanted to be able to play with their kids and grandkids when they got older and we've all seen the immediate scrutiny they are put under for making this decision. How many of us are still pissed that Barry quit when he did?
I'm not suggesting you're hiding behind what you consider to be 'stretches', but I also don't think it's as simple as you're making it out to be here. There are things to consider I believe, and this article was simply pointing that out. Yeah, it's been discussed before, but not comparing these two aspects of the nature of the sport. Not together. And the combination is what makes it quite frightening.