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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Students Speak: How ethical is being an NFL fan in 2017?


As the NFL season gets into full swing, The S&B’s Zoe Fruchter caught up with Grinnellians to talk about the league’s weak punishments for domestic abuse and the troubles of recent Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) studies.

I have a cable subscription that I use to watch games online. [I watch football] because it’s fun and I have a team that I like. I think the NFL should do a lot better job of punishing players for [sexual assault], acting like that.”
-Sean Cullinane ’18
“[Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Studies] don’t impact my practices. They definitely make me more aware. And since I haven’t been a football fan, haven’t watched football for a long time, I think I recognize that that’s a problematic part of the sport, and I think football culture is problematic too. They remind me that there are problems that exist.”
-Lucy Bales ’18
“[Ezekiel Elliot and Ray Rice] aren’t even the worst cases. There’s John Brown who’s a kicker who got off with basically nothing. There’s totally instances of the NFL treating both [domestic] violence and assault in general in completely unregulated ways. And it’s clear that all the NFL cares about as an organization and a company is money. And it’s definitely disheartening and while it definitely affects how I view the NFL, I still watch football games.”
-Henry Firestone ’21
“Rugby, which is a less padded game, has less injuries than football does. I think less padding is the way to go. There will be people who are upset about it. … I think those people are ridiculous.”
“Part of the problem is that your brain doesn’t have pain receptors in the way that the rest of your body does. So in that way, if you have a really nice padded helmet you can hit somebody and you don’t feel your brain hitting your skull super hard.”
-Colin Greenman ’18 and Zachary Spahr ’18


“I watched football because my grandpa was a football fan and so we would go over to his house to watch football occasionally. And part of being from San Diego is that you are a Chargers fan. I think there should be obviously stricter punishment for anyone that commits domestic violence, and you should be kicked out of the NFL if that happens.”
-Ruby Lynn ’20


“I follow the Raiders. I just kind of grew up with it. I do think that the NFL needs to come down much harder on these players than just a two or six game suspension. I think there should be almost a full season and some sort of monetary punishment in there.”
-Ravi Levens ’19

All photos by Andrew Tucker.

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