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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Five big coronavirus concerns for the 2020 NFL season: Guiding principles for navigating COVID-19

Don Heider, executive director, quoted on ESPN.

Don Heider, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said that NFL owners should have an uncomfortable but necessary conversation about that risk. The return of football would undoubtedly boost the common good, but at what cost?

"They should think in advance about what the acceptable thresholds will be," Heider said. "Is the value that resuming football brings worth the risk? How many lives would you be willing to give up to have football games on Sunday? It's a tough question they should know the answer to before this starts. The people making those decisions have a serious financial stake in it. We all know that. But it becomes a very difficult question, because the safety thing seems almost insurmountable [to negate all risk]."

"From an ethical standpoint," Heider said, "the system is not a level playing field. You could see young players particularly vulnerable, and maybe considered expendable, because it's not like they have $20 million in the bank already. It will be fascinating to see how that is dealt with in football.

Don Heider, executive director, quoted on ESPN


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