Admit it – you like seeing athletes get hurt. The Primal side of being a sports fan
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is examined during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

This is not a popular opinion, but I know it’s true. We LOVE seeing athletes get hurt at sporting events. We lust for it. We cheer for it. We demand it!

 

Sports fans are acting hypocritical over Tua Tagovailoa’s injury. Tua suffered a concussion in Thursday night’s game between the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. Within seconds of being sacked, Tua’s body stiffened into what’s called the “Fencer’s pose” – with hands in front of his face in a crooked pose.

 

A stretcher carried Tua off the field, while his teammates and competitors stared in shock for ten minutes. This happened four days after it appeared Tagovailoa experienced a concussion against the Buffalo Bills. He re-entered the game in the 4th quarter and became the hero after leading Miami to an upset victory over its division rival.

 

Dolphins officials claim Tua passed concussion protocol, but no one believes that. The NFL is investigating and has promised to make their findings public, so they can be “fully transparent.”

Tua’s injury shamed many of us, myself included. We talk a good game, saying we want players to be safe on the field. But honestly, we get caught up in the primal nature of being a sports fan.
What do we want to see at boxing and MMA events? Knockouts! What do we want to see at NASCAR events? Crashes! What do we want to see at football games??? Hard hits. Even dirty hits, like the ones Tagovailoa experienced Sunday.

I attended the UT/UTSA football game a couple of weeks ago in Austin. Every big hit was greeted with “Ooooohs!” and cheers, even when players got knocked out of the game. Admit it. We like the violence. We want to see players get blown up. We demand that our players play through pain. Rub some dirt on it and get back in the game! We want all of this, as long as we don’t see the suffering that results from game violence.

 

Tua’s injury might be a wakeup call for all of us. The NFL failed to take care of players for years – despite all their suffering. Why hasn’t the NFL truly changed its culture to take care of its atheltes? Because the public doesn’t demand it. You know it. They know it.

 

If you truly want safety in football – it starts by looking in the mirror. It starts by changing what you cheer for. You’re guilty of cheering for sports violence. I am too.

 

What do you think? How concerned are you about Tua’s injury? Let Michael know on Twitter @MikeESPNSA. You can listen to Michael Jimenez on “Halftime” weekdays from Noon to 2 p.m.

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