Should NFL Fans Feel “Morally Compromised”?

Randy Shawbyline‚ Dec. 05‚ 2012

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher's December 1 murder/suicide has renewed concern over what conduct fans are supporting when they watch the NFL. Some contend that fans should feel “morally conflicted, even morally compromised” in getting joy from a sport that leaves far too many athletes physically broken, unemployed and even suicidal soon after their careers end. I understand this concern, but wonder why we hear far less talk of “morally compromised” college football and basketball fans. The vast majority of former college football players also suffer from concussions and lifetime physical misery, and gain neither a college degree nor NFL paycheck. College basketball players do not usually get concussions, but they make millions of dollars for universities in exchange for “scholarships” that typically do not lead to a degree. If we want to raise moral qualms about sports, big-time college athletics is the place to start.