Cook and Krawiec, ‘If We Allow Football Players and Boxers to be Paid for Entertaining the Public, Why Don’t We Allow Kidney Donors To Be Paid For Saving Lives?’

Introduction
… This article contrasts the compensation ban on organ donation with the legal treatment of football and other violent sports where both acute and chronic injuries to participants are common. Although there is some debate about how best to regulate these sports to reduce the risks, there appears to be no debate about whether participants should be paid. For the best adult football players, college scholarships and multi-million-dollar professional contracts are possible. Indeed, the National Football League (NFL) is the highest grossing sports league in the world; the NFL collected $13 billion in revenue in 201614 and the thirty-two teams have a market value of anywhere from $1.6 billion to $4.8 billion. Although the recent evidence on the long-term medical damage from concussion has caused widespread concern, there is no prominent voice calling for a ban on professional football. Indeed, the stakes are so high at this point that a ban is almost unthinkable in the foreseeable future. That observation illustrates how history, custom, and established interests have shaped the debate over regulating risky activity …

Philip J Cook and Kimberly D Krawiec, If We Allow Football Players And Boxers To Be Paid For Entertaining The Public, Why Don’t We Allow Kidney Donors To Be Paid For Saving Lives?, Law and Contemporary Problems volume 81:9 (2018).

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