Yeah, with so many other sports that even more dangerous than football, this new crackdown on safety just doesn't make sense to me. Worried about injury? Then don't play. It's not forced labor. You just walk away. Yes, you leave millions of dollars on the table, but that's just how it is.
The NFL is worried about concussions and lawuits, yet MMA and boxing have no problems letting their athletes repeatedly punch each other in the face until on of them gives up. There's no penalty and, even more confusing to me, no public outcry to stop it.
I understand that the NFL is infinitely more popular than fringe sports. But still, why do they get off scot free while the NFL feels the need to crack down on absolutely everything?
For starters, in these other sports who do you sue? Even in boxing I don't think there's really a deep-pocketed owner/agency to go after. The boxing commission isn't exactly rolling in the dough. The only real recourse I could think of would be going after the venues, perhaps the promoters, you received your beatings in...if they still exist after all these years. For a while there, I think HBO was selling all the big fights pay-for-view, so maybe them. As far as the business model, the only comparables are MLB, NHL, NBA, soccer and perhaps golf/tennis.
Then, while other sports might be more dangerous, there's a quality of life aspect. If you survive downhill or NASCAR, your quality of life is generally fine. Even in football, the issue is primarily about concussions, even though most players probably suffer more from more debilitating physical issues.
So the only real comparison is MMA, where I think there's a publicly traded company owning most of the rights? Claims to be much safer than boxing, but still largely in its infancy before we can know what long-term effects the fighters might suffer.