Amid all the excitement of this weekend’s Superbowl spectacle, The Intercept’s Shaun King explains that this, ladies and gentlemen, is the most important highlight reel of the NFL this season. It’s also the highlight reel that the NFL does not want you to see.
Like every season, this year has brought us some amazing catches, breakthrough runs, and dramatic long-range field goals.
But there was another kind of record hit this season: a destructive one, with an astounding 281 concussions from the NFL preseason until today, according to the league’s own aggregate statistics.
That’s the most concussions since the NFL started keeping track six years ago.
The NFL has done a masterful job at mainstreaming the violence of the game, so that fans and spectators don’t feel too bad about what’s actually happening out there.
No single word has protected the NFL from the true costs of this violence more than “concussion.” That word puts a protective barrier between us and what’s really going on out on the field.
It’s not a headache. It’s not “getting your bell rung.” You don’t have a bell. It’s a traumatic brain injury.
Video by Josh Begley