Opinion: What Do Football And Racing Have In Common? Injuries And Attitude

by | 08.10.2017 | 5:39pm
Saratoga Race Course

In a recent editorial for the Albany Times-Union, writer Chris Churchill observes that football and horse racing, sports on somewhat opposite trajectories for the past century, are starting to come together — and not in a good way.

A spate of equine deaths during the Saratoga meet has sparked discussion and notice from protestors about the ethics of horse racing. (The number is now up to 11 deaths during the Saratoga meet, although the majority of those are training, not racing deaths.)

At the same time, Churchill points out, research into the dangers of repeated head trauma have people, especially parents of high school athletes, concerned about the risks of that sport.

Churchill draws a line between football executives, who seem resistant to admitting the sport could be dangerous to its participants, and the New York Gaming Commission.

Officials at the state's Gaming Association can probably sympathize with [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell's reluctance to address the big moral quandary of his sport,” Churchill writes. “While they've been willing to tinker around the edges to make the racing seem safer for horses, they've been less willing to make changes that might make a difference.”

Drawing on one owner's opinion, Churchill suggests the commission could consider removing Lasix from the track if it wanted to make headway with the public.

Read more at the Albany Times-Union

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