Bears fans react to debate over concussions
A senior football player at Lane Tech high school remains in critical condition today after suffering a severe head injury at last Friday’s game.
It’s the latest, and perhaps most local, in a string of news stories about football-related brain injuries.
WBEZ wondered what kind of impact the overall debate has had on local football fans. We headed to Soldier Field two hours before kick-off Thursday night to find out.
Here’s what a few Bears fans had to say:
“(The NFL is) doing a lot to improve the game, but it’s a little too late for the guys that have been playing for 20, 30 years.” - Paul Loftus
“It changed the perspective a little bit, but we love football. We’re a football family.” - Chris French
“I think everybody, before they get into high-level football, should be aware of the risks. But I think, everything in life is kind of a risk-reward decision. So (players) should be aware of the risk before they make their decision, because I feel like up to this point, it’s been a lot of, we don’t really know how bad concussions are, but now they know.” - Val Pinskiy
“If I had a son, I would look at the way, they play football. But as far as watching a game, that’s what you pay for. They’re kind of like gladiators.” - Kurt Schlickman
What do you think about the link between football and long-term brain damage? Has it changed how you view professional football? College? High school? Pop Warner?
Have you seen the PBS FRONTLINE documentary? What did you think? Note: League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis airs again tonight, Friday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on WTTW. Find other local times here.
Share your thoughts in the comment section below or e-mail WBEZ producer Becky Vevea at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monica Eng contributed to reporting. Becky Vevea is a producer for WBEZ. Follow her @WBEZeducation.