American Consumerism Creates Toxic Environments for Professional Football Players

Even though American Consumerism is the reason behind professional football players wealth and lifestyle, it creates a toxic environment in which the players live in.


Kansas City, February 2020

by Editorial Board

According to, there have been upwards of 200 incidents related to concussions every year in the league since 2012. However, these injuries can sometimes be put aside or ignored depending on how the team, coach and the player feel about the significance of the damage.

During the 2021 AFC Divisional Play-off Game, Kansas City quarterback Mahomes was taken out of the game and placed in concussion protocol; meaning it was unclear whether he would play in the AFC Championship or not. Mahomes was out for the rest of the game in order to recover, but he played the next game, which was only 6 days after his injury. 

It occasionally seems like the fans care more about winning the game than the players’ physical health unless the injuries during the game affect their fantasy football team. In fantasy football, if a player gets hurt, people with that certain player on their team will end up losing points. 

Many segments of football, including video games, reinforce harmful relationships. Games, such as “Madden,” allow people to unlock certain football players to use as their characters. In order to unlock these players, people have to have a certain amount of points. Depending on how many points each player is worth, the professionals can start to feel dehumanized and that in order to be worth more points they need to beat another team or player.  

Fans also contribute to unhealthy relationships in the NFL. Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs went up against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Superbowl LV. Brady has had a reputation in the league since the 2012 Superbowl, when he was accused of cheating; and it has never receded him. Fans of both the Chiefs and the Buccaneers have pitted these famous quarterbacks against each other. 

Players are often unable to demonstrate their political and/or religious beliefs due to the fans disagreeing with them. The NFL dealt with these issues when Colin Kaepernick kneeled and protested during the national anthem in order to call attention to racial inequality and police brutality. Forbes wrote an article, confirming that the NFL was losing millions of TV viewers because of the Kaepernick-led protests. Because the league can’t risk losing the money generated by viewers, they don’t want to bring politics into football. According to CNBC, in order to protect themselves and the players, the National Football League now requires all players to stand and show respect for the flag or stay off the field during the national anthem. 

However, the NFL players are the best at what they do. Thousands of people play football, and only a small amount of players make it to the top, so this difficult lifestyle of being a product of consumerism is expected. Not many people can make it to the NFL, so they must’ve wanted to be there in order to prove themselves. The players might not even feel like they are in a toxic environment because of the millions of dollars they make each year. 

According to the Kansas City Star, people who are chiefs fans can look back over 2020 and see that they had at least one shining moment over the bleak year, which was their love for the team; the Chiefs have given Kansas City citizens a sense of pride and community.

 However, the fans can take this sense of pride and twist it into something alarming. The fans can form the players into “god” like idols who are seen as superhuman. Despite the fact these football players are the best of the best at what they do, they are still human beings and we need to start treating them like so. 

13/17 staffers agree