John Oliver has teed off on the NFL and its growing issue of player concussions.
The HBO host, in no uncertain terms, directly called the NFL 'primetime programming where people kill themselves for entertainment'.
They're the sort of comments which would undoubtedly touch a nerve among sports fans – and probably the players themselves.
“There is already primetime programming where people kill themselves for our entertainment — it’s called Monday Night Football,” Oliver said on his Last Week Tonight show.
“Happy concussion season, football fans! It sure feels like this sport maybe shouldn’t exist.”
John Oliver calls out the #NFL as "primetime programming where people kill themselves for entertainment" in the wake of controversy surrounding the league's concussion protocol #THRNews pic.twitter.com/PyUPMq3XnX— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) October 11, 2022
His damning remarks come in the wake of a sickening injury sustained by Miami Dolphins star Tua Tagovailoa.
After finding himself on the wrong end of a head-rattling collision against the Cincinnati Bengals, Tagovailoa was left lying motionless on the turf with his limbs curling up in an unnatural position.
He was eventually stretchered off the field, but this was the second nasty head knock he had suffered in less than a week.
The previous weekend, despite being slammed on the deck, the young quarterback was somehow cleared of any head injury after undertaking the NFL’s concussion protocols.
Clearly concussed, Tagovailoa ended up returning to the game, although the questionable decision to allow him to play was met with widespread criticism.
Now, just a few weeks later, popular comedian and TV host Oliver has taken a huge swipe at the NFL.
Very scary as Tua Tagavailoa goes down after a sack, looks like it may have been the second concussion in 4 days. Really not good. pic.twitter.com/2u0Leb69O5— Dr. Lös Real Polyamorous Tantric Sex Guru (@LosRealAli) September 30, 2022
The discussion surrounding concussions and subsequently brain damage has been a hot topic of late.
With more and more athlete coming forward to explain their dementia or memory loss symptoms, major sports organisations are beginning to really take it seriously and are subsequently tightening their protocols.
But unfortunately for the NFL, they've got more cases than any other code, it seems.
From the very first case in Mike Webster to the tragic tale of Junior Seau, the NFL has a growing list of former player who have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after their deaths.
So when Tagovailoa suffered his scary head knock, e man who first discovered and published findings on CTE was quick to make his thoughts known.
Highly-respected ‘concussion doctor’ Bennet Omalu told TMZ: “Tua, my brother. I love you. I love you as much as I love my son.
“Stop playing. Stop. Hang your helmet and gallantly walk away.
“If you love your life, if you love your family, you love your kids - if you have kids - it's time to gallantly walk away.
“Go find something else to do.”
The Nigerian-American physician, who the film Concussion starring Will Smith is based on, added: “It's time [to retire]. [He's] suffered long-term, permanent brain damage.
“He should stop. Sometimes money is not more valuable than human life. $20 billion is not worth more than your brain.”
The incident involving Tua sparked a mass discussion among fans online and even analysts in television studio.
As a result, the NFL has agreed to work alongside the NFL Players Association to examine and make potential changes to the league’s concussion rules.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Last Week Tonight/Alamy
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