A new mini documentary from Retro Report examines how health concerns about boxing corresponded to the sport’s decline in popularity and examines similar concerns about football.
In 1982, Korean boxer Duk Koo Kim died after a lightweight title fight against Ray Mancini on Nov. 13. Kim slipped into a coma after the conclusion of the fight and was taken off life support four days later. Sports Illustrated’s cover on Nov. 22 featured a photo from the fight with the headline “Tragedy in the Ring.” Two months later, the American Medical Association called for boxing to be outlawed. In subsequent years, boxing’s popularity in America plummeted as it was relegated to pay-per-view events.
Similar concerns exist about football, as several former NFL players have committed suicide as a result of depression caused by CTE, a degenerative brain disease linked to football-related head trauma. At least seven high school football players have died of on-field injuries this season, too. Retro Report’s documentary examines the impact of health concerns surrounding football.
- Dan Gartland