By practically every measure, football is the most brutal of American sports, a game of full-contact ferocity played at a warp speed by modern-day gladiators. That said, how many NFL players do you suppose died on the field this past Sunday? How about all of last season? How about in the entirety of its history, a history that dates back almost a century? In fact, only one professional football player has ever died in a game (and that of cardiac arrest). That’s it. Last evening at Louisiana Downs two 3-year-old “equine athletes” were killed in the span of an hour:
Contangold in race 5 (Equibase had him as “pulled up in distress.” “In distress”? Yes, in the process of dying.); Starry Madelyn in race 7.
Fact is, horses die on American tracks every…single…day. A sport? I would call the mere suggestion fatuous and inane, but in the face of wholesale carnage, those adjectives don’t quite cut it. Vile and abhorrent is more like it.