Glenn is a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell, who he refers to as a ‘brilliant’ man. This time, however, he thinks Malcolm has gone off the rails a little bit. Could Glenn finally be right about something sports related? Gladwell claimed that professional football is the same as dogfighting, referring to the sport as a ‘moral abomination’ in an upcoming interview.
Gladwell said, "I think the sport is a moral abomination. The NFL just released that actuaries report trying to estimate what percentage of retired players may well be in need of some kind of assistance, medical assistance from the league, and they came up with a figure of a third. So, basically, when you watch football on Sunday, a third of the players you're watching are in the course of playing the game, incurring an injury which will significantly impact their life. Can you point to another industry in America which, as in the course of doing business, maims a third of its employees?"
"I think [he] is really quite brilliant and a genius, but I think he's wrong on this," Glenn said.
These guys are in the NFL. Nobody has a gun to their head. They don't have to do that," Glenn said. Everyone gets to make their own choices and take their own risks.
"It's still your choice. Your son went through this. They went through the whole rookie thing and they say don't spend all your money the first day. The people come in and they plead with these people coming out of college, don't spend all your money the first week. Don't buy a Mercedes, but they still do it. If they do it, they do it. People are able to have their own free will. You have a situation where like, is there a risk where you're going into a physical activity? Yes, but, you know what, police officers have a risk of being shot. The people go to war and might die. I mean, there are things that are far more risky than playing in the National Football League," Stu added.
Glenn took Stu's example of a soldier a step forward, admonishing the focus on the NFL while people ignore the tragedy of the VA.
"If you know you're in an industry that is going to cause damage, and when you're done with that person in the prime of their life, you don't just say, screw you, pal, you took that risk. You're being a morally responsible person and you're saying, no, I know that, but they're choosing. We want to do it. The fans want it. They're choosing it. So we want to make sure that morally we take care of them afterwards. That's morally responsible, wouldn't you say?"
"Let's talk about something else that we could claim using his logic, a moral abomination. A sport, if you will, that takes young men and puts them out on the field where we know they will be damaged. They're going to have traumatic brain injury, and does the NFL, if you will, the league does nothing. They leave the field, and even though they're forgotten. Nobody is forcing this industry to say, hey, you need to have 30 percent. You need to say at least 30 percent or 50 percent will come back and come off that field and they'll be injured and you have to make sure you take care of them. Where is the money? Where is the money that will take care of them? Well, we have it. No, I want to see the banking receipts. I don't want you to tell me about this made up fund. In future ticket sales. Show me the money in the bank. Show me the trust. Well, I can't do that. That sport is called war."
"Our government is never ever held to the same standard they're expecting others to be held to. An immoral abomination? Here's your moral abomination, we'll fight a war we don't know what's about anymore, we know people will be -- will have traumatic brain injury. We know they'll come back limping. They're going to come back missing limbs. We know they'll come back so morally spiritually, physically scarred, that they will not be able to function. We know their suicide rate will be through the roof. Oh, yeah, and we're not going to -- we're going to take care of them on maybe future ticket sales. We don't really have a plan for them. We have a hospital, but that dang thing is so corrupt that people are dying and committing suicide just to see a doctor. We would never put up with it. The government would be all over that industry. It is time for the government to shut the hell up."
"Until you can live by the same kind of standards you insist we have, shut the hell up. You take care of your problems. You take care of all the issues and all of the pain and all of the destruction and all the brain injuries that you clowns in Washington have caused. When you start to feel the moral weight and the responsibility on your shoulders for all the suicides and all of the lost limbs and all of the people that cannot even function anymore, because of your policies, and you show me where you have put that off to the side in a fricking lock box. I don't want to see your future IOUs. I don't want to see anything. I want to see the cash. You start cutting on other things until you can show me the cash that you take care of these guys until the day they drop dead from a natural disease."