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- Week 13 in the NFL had numerous injuries and suspensions and raised the volume on criticisms of football’s inherent violence.
- The former ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger tweeted out his support of violence and sex appeal in the NFL, calling those who disagreed “Snowflakes.”
- Attitudes toward violence in football have shifted in recent years as the public’s understanding of links between the sport and brain trauma has grown.
The former ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger used Twitter on Tuesday night to defend the violence of the NFL after a week of games with multiple scary injuries and suspensions for illegal hits.
“Yo, Snowflakes.” Musburger tweeted. “Quit preaching. The Violent World of Sam Huff sold NFL football to the masses. The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders gave us a little sex with our violence. Deal with it!”
The tweet came a day after Monday night’s divisional matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers showed just how dangerous professional football can be, with two players – Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier and Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict – carted off the field. Shazier’s injury left viewers wondering whether he had been paralyzed.
JuJu Smith-Schuster was suspended one game for his hit on Burfict, while Shazier, who was injured while trying to make a tackle, remains in the hospital and is being evaluated for a spinal-cord injury. Bengals safety George Iloka was also suspended one game after hitting Antonio Brown in the helmet as Brown made the winning grab in the Steelers’ 23-20 victory.
Earlier, during Sunday’s games, Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White was carted off the field after Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski delivered a late, illegal hit. Gronkowski was suspended one game.
While such violence was once more commonly celebrated by the greater NFL audience, interest in the explicit violence of football has waned in recent years as more has become known about long-term links between the sport and brain trauma, including the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Musburger’s reference to the role of sex in football is a bit more of a stretch, though he previously made headlines for his fawning over Katherine Webb during the 2013 BCS Championship Game.