Letters to the Sports Editor


Nobis’ passing should be a note of warning

I read with interest your articles on Dec. 14 about the remarkable football career of Tommy Nobis.

Both articles did a fine job of setting out the particulars of the successes Mr. Nobis had both at the University of Texas and with the Atlanta Falcons. What was missing in both, however, was any meaningful discussion of the terrible toll he paid for playing football.

As you know, he was one of the players who was part of the class action lawsuit against the NFL and shared in the resulting financial settlement. But we must all wonder if he would have played the game if he and his family had known then that his career would result in significant and debilitating brain damage. And posing that question, we must ask ourselves if ignoring that risk is in the best interest of our society.

Surely we owe a duty to our young athletes to be open and honest about the significant risks of brain damage associated with the game of football as it is played today. Ignoring that part of the story, while focusing only on the glory elements, does a disservice to all of us.

DAVID A. SHEPPARD, Austin



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