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Junior Seau, arguably one of the NFL’s greatest linebackers ever to play the game, shot himself in the chest yesterday. This follows on a series of recent suicides of NFL players Dave Duerson, Terry Long, and Andre Waters. To this, Charles Camosy at Catholic Moral Theology asks: “When will we seriously debate the ethics of supporting American football?”

Most throw their hands up and say, “Well, they know what they’re doing, and they’re certainly well-compensated for doing it.” It’s not as though these players don’t realize the potentially dangerous or lethal nature of their profession, and most everyone else just wants a team to support, a Superbowl to win, and another beer. But cases like these do trouble, and the long-term physical and psychological damages of professional success in football are increasingly resulting in social maladjustment, physical handicap, early death, and, in this case, even suicide. Dana Dillon, a professor of theology at Providence College, comments:

  I haven’t thought much about this . . . but I think that some of the things that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about prostitution might be helpful for an analysis of this. (Acknowledging the wrongfulness of the act itself, but also the economic forces that push prostitutes into that line of work.) Actually, I wonder if some of the thinking on pornography might also be a way into the morality of commercializing the watching of bodies being used in ways that are contrary to God’s intended purposes.

Read more here .

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