John Oliver called out the National Football League (NFL) during Sunday’s episode of last week tonight on HBO and HBO Max. The theme of the night was crime reporting and the comedian blasted Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s multiple concussions.
“There is already primetime programming where people kill themselves for our entertainment, it’s called Monday night football”, he joked. “Happy concussion season, football fans! It sure seems like this sport maybe shouldn’t exist.”
Oliver’s dig comes as the NFL along with the NFL Players Association completed their review of the concussion protocol following Tagovailoa’s injuries on the field. Tagovailoa suffered an injury during a September 25 match in which he had trouble walking after taking a hit. The football player was later cleared to play the following week, where he once again showed symptoms of having a concussion after another inning.
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“The parties concluded that while the step-by-step process outlined in the Concussion Protocol was followed, the result, in this case, was not what was intended when the Protocol was drafted,” read the joint statement from the NFL and the NFLPA.
Both sides agreed to amend the protocol for player safety by adding the term “ataxia to mandatory no-go symptoms.”
“Ataxia is defined as an abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination, or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological problem,” the statement continues. “In other words, if a player is diagnosed with ‘ataxia by any club or neutral doctor involved in the application of the Concussion Protocol, he will be prohibited from returning to play and will receive the follow-up care required by the Protocol. .”