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New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada at ESPN.com have looked at a growing threat to all levels of football: many insurance companies have stopped offering coverage for the sport, from the NFL on down to Pop Warner leagues.

"People say football will never go away, but if we can't get insurance, it will." -- Jon Butler, Pop Warner's executive director.

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8 comments, Last at 24 Jan 2019, 4:23pm

3 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

I don't doubt that football can cause CTE.

But where and how do you place the blame?

A kid starts playing Pop Warner through high school then college then the NFL. And in the meantime, he may be doing all the other things kids do like climbing trees, falling off bikes, getting punched in the head by other kids.

You can make the case that NFL players hit hardest because of their size and speed, but a small child's brain is probably a lot less protected and more vulnerable to early injury as its still developing.

It's a mess and I don't blame any parent for taking the safe option and getting their kids into sports with notably lower contact levels.

6 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

It's going to be a delayed effect. If Pop Warner programs start to disappear now, it won't hit the NFL (or other leagues) for another 10ish years.

There's going to be a slow dwindling of talent in the NFL as the super athlete kids are steered toward baseball or basketball rather than football. The mentality of trying to HURT opponents needs to be taken out of the game if it is to survive.

7 Re: New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

I don't see the problem. Insurance companies will keep on doing what insurance companies do -- collect premium after premium, and when it's time to pay out, tell the insured that he's not covered in this instance...that the injuries were caused by willful neglect or abuse. Worst-case scenario, go out of business.