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The National Football League (NFL) was both the most popular spectator sport in the U.S. and a major economic entity, taking in roughly $10 billion a year in revenue. However through the early twenty-first century, an increased understanding of the long-term effects of head injuries on NFL players indicated a serious threat to the long-term viability of the game. Particularly concerning was the indication that some deceased professional football players had developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)-a neurodegenerative disease which had a strong influence on a person’s mental and physical health-most likely as a result of repetitive hits sustained during their football careers and which may have contributed to their deaths. Over 4,000 retired players had jointly sued the NFL over the head injuries they had sustained during their time in the NFL and the resulting health problems they attributed to these injuries. In part, the lawsuit alleged that the NFL had not been forthcoming with players about the health risks of head injuries. The two sides had reached a tentative $765 million settlement in 2013, the bulk of which would go to compensating retired players suffering from such diseases as Alzheimer’s or dementia. While this settlement compensated retired players, it was not applicable to current or future players. Could the NFL preserve the sport by making it safer through new rules or equipment changes, or was football an inherently physical game that no amount of new rules or equipment could make completely safe? Were current and future players, now knowing full well the potential long-term health implications of football, tacitly accepting the risks involved? As a team owner, is now the time to sell while franchise value and fan support are at their peaks, or will the business of the NFL be viable for years to come?
Question: If you were the owner of an NFL franchise team, would you look to sell your team, or do you think the NFL will continue as a viable and profitable business?