Dogfighting and (American) Football

By | October 19, 2009

In the current issue of the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell asks the question: “How different are dogfighting and football?” The essay points out provocatively that recent scientific studies — including an ongoing one being carried out with the football team at  UNC — show that American football leads, relatively systematically, to often debilitating long-term brain damage in players. Gladwell doesn’t take what I thought could be his logical next step: putting in a plug for the other, original football, which after all leads to many sprained ankles, ripped ACLs, occasionally broken legs, not to mention broken hearts and a certain kind of madness, but rarely to brain damage.

Category: United States

About Laurent Dubois

I am Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University. A specialist on the history and culture of France and the Caribbean, notably Haiti, I am the author of Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France. I founded the Soccer Politics blog in the Fall of 2009 as part of a Duke University course called "World Cup and World Politics," whose students helped me develop the site.

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