On March 3, 1962, I watched on my parent’s black-and-white television as boxer Benny “The Kid” Paret crumbled to the mat and died after several blows to the head delivered by his opponent, Emile Griffith. On September 3, 1979, during a Monday night football game, I watched New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley, who had been paralyzed in a 1978 preseason football game, make an emotional return to Patriot Stadium and receive a standing ovation from both players and fans.
Boxing and football are violent and dangerous sports. If you want to make boxing safer you give fighters feather pillows, and you call it pillow fighting. If you want to make football safer, you don’t give players Triax Smart Impact Meter headbands, you give them belts with red and yellow flags, and you call it flag football.