Ep. 9: Why we play

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We’ve learned a lot about brain injuries in football during Season 1 of Razed Sports. But there is one nagging question that we haven’t really addressed :

Knowing all that we now know about the long-term risks of tackle football, why are we still playing the sport?

I’ve heard a lot of responses to this question over the last few months, some of which make some sense, some … well … not so much. But I’ve never heard an answer laid out quite so eloquently and sensibly as when I heard Erick’s interview with Ken LaVigne.

LaVigne has dedicated a huge portion of his life to the sport, both as a player and a coach. He had to quit football due to concussions, so he does not have his head in the sand when it comes to the sport’s risks. But he also credits the game, and the mentors he met through it, with saving his life. To him, the rewards outweigh the risks.

He does provide two caveats though — the sport needs to evolve and become safer and it’s the responsibility of coaches to put player safety first, like his did for him.

Listen to Ep. 9 above to hear LaVigne’s story and also check out his new book (linked below) titled “Coaching the Soul.”

Photo courtesy of Ken LaVigne.

Photo courtesy of Ken LaVigne.

Episode credits:

Reported and written by Erick Galindo

Edited and produced by Bob Harkins

Episode 9 music credits:

Theme song: “Rip My Jeans” — dl-sounds.com

Jahzzar — “No-End Av”, “The Wrong Way”, “Last Dance” (license)

(All music edited for time purposes)

More reading:

— “Coach the Soul” by Ken LaVigne (Robert Reed PublishersRead

— “Jamal Lewis making most of post-NFL life — but preparing for darker days to come” (Bleacher ReportRead

— “Never Shut Up” by Marcellus Wiley (Penguin Random House Books) Read

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