The Jets weren’t amused; after initially saying that they’d dock Osemele the rest of his wage for the season, they as a substitute lower him.
There’s a lot that’s revealing right here concerning the coronary heart of our tradition’s hottest and brutal sport. The homeowners of the N.F.L.’s 32 groups are high quality socialists amongst themselves, splitting the gilt disgorged by tv and digital contracts, ticket and jersey gross sales and, quickly, playing, pretty playing. They work cooperatively to shake down cities to construct stadiums.
But when it comes to their gamers, they turn out to be splendidly 19th-century capitalists. A majority of soccer gamers work on nonguaranteed contracts, which is to say that when your native staff says it has signed a participant to a candy deal, it pays to learn the high quality print. Very typically that very same participant may be launched if his efficiency falls off, or if a few too many sprains and blasts to the top sluggish him down. (Contracts in Major League Baseball and the N.B.A. often come totally assured, which explains why Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson can afford to most probably sit out the complete season that’s wanted to rehabilitate a ruptured Achilles’ tendon (Durant) and a torn knee ligament (Thompson).
The N.F.L. Players Association, although, is a weak vessel taking up water, and for years its contract with the league didn’t permit gamers to search a second opinion. The sport was a firm city, and the staff physician’s phrase was regulation. More not too long ago, the union secured for gamers the best to search second and third opinions. But that contract nonetheless didn’t let gamers act on these opinions.
Robert W. Turner II comes to this dialogue from a number of instructions. He is a former skilled soccer participant, an assistant professor on the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Science and the writer of “Not For Long: The Life and Career of the NFL Athlete.”
“The players have gotten a modicum of control, but it’s not enough,” Turner informed me. “The gamers are beginning to problem the staff medical doctors, and that’s nice. But if the participant and the staff can not agree, the participant has to danger his wage to take medical motion.
“Culturally, the homeowners have at all times appeared upon gamers as commodities.”
The medical ethics are not any much less disheartening. Team medical doctors are paid by the staff, and traditionally too many medical professionals have ridden rhetorical shotgun for the homeowners, backing up the lethal refusal to acknowledge the consequences of concussive and sub-concussive hits on gamers’ brains.