Oops, he did it again. Dr. Mehmet Oz has developed an unfortunate track record when it comes to building a portfolio of unfavorable press. He’s been slammed, for example, for featuring the Long Island medium repeatedly, as well as blasted for promoting Joseph Mercola, who misrepresents holistic medicine practices by discouraging women to get mammograms. Now, however, Dr. Oz is attracting attention for what on the face of it seems innocuous: Encouraging his son to play football. The problem: Dr. Oz has created an ad for the NFL despite the repeated history of concussions in that organization, reported the Los Angeles Times on October 28.
Dr. Oz’s Facebook fans responded more kindly, with one person pointing out the emotional and spiritual health benefits of the father-son relationship, saying, “Oliver is so fortunate . Many boys and their fathers never have a close relationship . What they have is a friend / friend relationship at best . Enjoy your time with each other!!!!”
However, part of the kerfuffle over Dr. Oz’s ad for the NFL rests on his emphasis of tackling. In his 30-second commercial during the October 27 Denver-Washington game, Dr. Oz told the tale of his son’s first tackle.
“When my son Oliver told us he wanted to play football, we were thrilled,” he announces in the ad. “It was a rite of passage…. The game started, and sure enough he tackled this kid. My jaw dropped and then the loudspeaker said, ‘Tackle, Oliver Oz.’ That I think is a memory he’ll never forget. Certainly his father won’t.”
However, as some Facebook posters noted, that “memory” could have resulted in a concussion, spinal cord injuries and other potentially deadly accidents.
The NFL ad by Dr. Oz comes at the same time as the health risks of playing football are in the news. Recently the NFL settled a lawsuit from players contending that their football careers resulted in neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and memory loss.
Asked to comment about the fact that he created an ad portraying football tackling as a healthy rite of passage, Dr. Oz defended himself through a spokesman that he didn’t receive “monetary compensation,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Moreover, he insisted, his goal was “”to convey my love of the game of football and the role the game played in my personal … development” and “the same value in the game as a teaching tool for our son.”
However, a new study shows that no helmet can prevent concussion risk, reported the Los Angeles Times on October 28.
Researchers studied various brands of helmets and mouth guards to test which, if any, helped reduce the risk of concussions.
The research team, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Medical College of Wisconsin, tracked 1,332 high school football players from 36 schools. At the end, they compared the concussion rates for different types of helmets and found “no statistically significant difference in those figures.”
On average, players had to sit out more than 13 days due to severity of injuries.
What do you think? Did Dr. Oz create an ad that encourages holistically beneficial parenting and fitness practices? Or is he condoning a sport that creates life-threatening concussions?
“We live in a society that often focuses on the risks of decisions, rather than the opportunities of engaging life fully,” says Dr. Oz. Do you agree? Post your comments below.