Rugby, corporations and risk

In recent years, I have been involved in various efforts to advocate for accurate representations of injury risks. In rugby specifically, challenging erroneous and misleading claims about injury risk is important, so teachers, parents and players can be given accurate and pertinent information about risk. I and my co-authors have applied our analytical skills to the background processes of risk reporting – that messy and complex interplay of research, policy and practice that eventually manifests as risk information. Speaking of which …

In 2016, I was amongst a group of 73 sport scholars, academics, doctors, and public health professionals who signed an open letter arguing that it was necessary to remove the collision elements of the school game so that children play touch and non-contact rugby.

At face value, the open letter focused on a very small part of school sport. We were only arguing for …

  • one rule change …
  • to one sport …
  • at schools …
  • in one country.

The letter attracted a lot of media attention. And rugby governing bodies devoted a significant amount of resources, time and energy which resisted the proposal. These were press releases, media interviews, and resources seemed to be devoted to journal article writing. Now 6 years has passed since the open letter, it is a useful moment to reflect on some of the claims that were made at the time, particularly as brain health/risk has become very prominent in recent years (which I think makes the open letter particularly prescient).

So a few of us have published an article (behind a paywall at the moment) analyzing some of the responses to our open letter. These responses in academic journals are worth examining for how the proposal was framed by others, and the problems that come with such framing. Feel free to read these articles for context if you have access.

In 2016, Tucker et al. published Article 1 “Injury risk and a tackle ban in youth Rugby Union: reviewing the evidence and searching for targeted, effective interventions. A critical review.”

Then in 2017, Quarrie et al. published Article 2 ‘Facts and values: on the acceptability of risks in children’s sport using the example of rugby — a narrative review’.

In our own article, we argue there are a number of omissions, distortions, and misleading remarks which frame the ideas in our original open letter quite differently. These issues include:

Both articles omitted a long list of proposed reasons/motives for making a rule change, including issues around a duty to inform, a duty of care, issues of compulsory participation, and time loss from school.

Both articles omitted any reference to the proposed solution of children playing touch and non-contact rugby. By only mentioning half the solution, they did a disservice to the open letter.

Article 1 seemed to mis-attribute “cited” “terms”, to make a point about the “acceptability” of rugby participation.

Can all childhood injuries even be prevented?

Article 2 suggested that the open letter signatories believed that “all childhood injuries, regardless of origin, are inherently undesirable and should be prevented.” To be clear, I have never met anyone who has ever proposed that “all childhood injuries should be prevented”. As an approach to daily life and risk management, this idea seems nonsensical. So I found it strange, by virtue of signing a letter about school rugby injuries that I was being implicated with this idea. And it propagated an unbecoming trope – that a group of academics were out of touch with reality to the extent that they wanted to “wrap kids in cotton wool” and would never tolerate any injury. The article even included a quote from a former NZ rugby captain:

If you look too closely at the game it’s silly really when you bash the hell out of each other. But it’s fun and if you took the risk out of everything you wouldn’t do anything in your life.” Richie McCaw, former All Blacks captain, 2017, (bold added).

Aside from the possible confirmation bias that comes from quoting a successful rugby player in a medical journal, five years on, this quote can be read more critically. With the brain injury crisis that has enveloped collision sports around the world, the inclusion of McCaw’s quote might lead readers to ask questions like – is it really all or nothing? Is “bashing the hell out of eachother” tolerable for me? Is it tolerable for school children? Especially when the long term effects of rugby injuries for former players are beginning to be understood in more detail now.

McCaw’s quote can also be read in contrast with another former national team player from England. Steve Thompson recently said:

“Would I let my kids play rugby at the moment? No, I wouldn’t. Touch rugby, yes. …. Do I think it’s safe for kids to do tackle rugby? No, I don’t…”.

Of course, the letter writers never wanted to take the risk out of everything. It is intriguing that such a trope would be advanced in an article having ostensibly been through a peer review process. A reading of the 1-page text of the open letter would have shown that touch and non-contact rugby was being proposed as an alternative – a sport that of course has injury risks. Unfortunately, the trope of extreme risk-averseness is presented in the form of a rhetorical question for the signatories:

“… what level of injury to children resulting from participation in rugby would be seen by her [Pollock]and the signatories of the open letter as ‘acceptable’, or even ‘tolerable’. If the answer is ‘none’, there is no debate to have. It follows that if no injuries to children are acceptable, contact rugby for children should be banned, with similar logic presumably resulting in bans for other activities that carry risks of injury and/or death to children such as football, gymnastics, cycling/mountain biking, fairground rides, swimming, climbing trees, hiking, rock climbing, snow sports, sailing, fishing, equestrian and being transported to and from school by car or motorcycle.”

And so significant attention in an academic article is devoted to a rhetorical question about all sorts of common activities such as football, hiking and going to school, with the possibility left hanging in the article that these are activities which the signatories would be against. The effect of all this is the signatories are painted as extreme risk avoiders.

What would the equivalent be at the other end of the risk spectrum? I imagine it would be similar to a school rugby promoter being accused of believing that “any” sort of high-risk behaviour should be compulsory for school children. So compulsory unaided rock climbing, compulsory jousting, compulsory bare-knuckle boxing, or whatever other high-risk activity they want to administer. Of course, these suggestions are fanciful, and I would not offer these in an academic discussion as plausible equivalents to the various risks of rugby.

Relatedly, we contest the veracity of the claim that there is a “‘dominant paradigm’ among those working in childhood injury prevention that ‘all childhood injuries, irrespective of origin, are unacceptable’.” Instead we suggest the references supposedly used to support that argument say the opposite – that “injuries can be ‘prevented or controlled’ (italics added) through either primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention – ‘preventing new injuries, reducing the severity of injuries, or decreasing the frequency and severity of disability after an injury’”. Again, the accusations levied in the direction of the open letter signatories do not seem to hold water.

On sociology

Article 2 claimed ‘The values of the signatories of the open letter, most of whom are scholars of sociology, rather than injury prevention or public health, are relevant to what level of risk they believe is acceptable in rugby’. We did a count ourselves on this, and even being generous towards ‘sociology’ in cases of multi-disciplinarity, only 34 out of 73 were predominantly ‘scholars of sociology’. Does 34 out of 73 count as most? No, we don’t think so.

We wonder how this claim was created. It also buys into the trope of positioning the signatories as particularly unknowledgeable about the topic (despite the signatories ironically being accused of deploying the dominant paradigm of injury prevention moments earlier). This frames the letter writers as inexpert in the subject, which would certainly be a tactic deployed by those with an interest in defending the status quo of rugby tackling in schools. In various media, attacking the legitimacy of the signatories seemed to be a popular technique when the letter was first published.

And speaking of sociology, despite not accounting for ‘most’ of the signatories, scholars of sociology focus on a range of closely-related themes – risk, danger, education, policy, power, and control across a wide range of settings and cultures. Sociologists often need to be interdisciplinary, often traverse a wide range of social problems, including different types of risks, and often view social practices holistically. Since the open letter intersected with health, education, safe-guarding, physical education and physical activity, it would seem that sociologists are well placed to contribute. In any case, the 73 signatories of the letter, whatever their background or professional discipline, would have a wide variety of beliefs about all sorts of risks. For example, sociology can be a risky thing to do itself!

Other motives? Or omitted motives?

Article 2 uses an example of one signatory, who once remarked (in a different setting, in a different context), of his apparent contempt for ‘men’s team sports’. This remark was used as the basis to claim that ‘If reasons other than those concerning player welfare were a motive for the authors of the open letter calling for a ban on contact in schools’ rugby, then stating those reasons in the letter would have helped clarify the debate’. But when the article in question had already omitted discussion of many ‘motives’ which were explicitly emphasised in the open letter (including issues of compulsion, consent, and the duty to protect children), this doesn’t quite seem like fair play. This echoes a trope of the letter writers as have ulterior motives. Sure, critical analysis of motives is a good thing, but the clearly stated motives (in paragraphs 3, 4, 6 and 7 from the open letter) are entirely ignored in favour of an insinuation of “other reasons” being motives. Advocacy is certainly made more difficult when the original issues raised are not considered at all in responses, and further, when the issues raised are conflated with other matters entirely.

Competing and confounding interests

Speaking of declaring ‘other reasons and motives’, the logical extension of such a suggestion would become quickly unmanageable and probably uncomfortable for the declarers. For example, employees of World Rugby or England Rugby (for example) would need to disclose their specific financial interests at every instance of advocacy as well as all the other benefits they have received through their connection with the sport, as this would surely ‘motivate’ their involvement. I look forward to any author beginning such transparent declaration to ‘clarify the debate’.

Cheekily, and taking declarations to their logical extreme, I wonder if “confounding interests” would be useful to disclose too. For example, I signed the open letter and:

I played collision sports for 7 years.

My support of both the All Blacks and Buffalo Bills for has spanned two millennia.

I own a rugby ball.

Do these factors make the proposal more palatable now that I’ve declared my interests? Or should I not have declared any of this? It certainly grates against a narrative that a signatory supposedly doesn’t like rugby.

Distortions of school decision making  

Article 1 claimed that “effective (risk management) interventions must, by definition, be realistic and obtain the support of the major stakeholders within the specific target population”. However, this framing doesn’t work in the UK school setting. If an activity involving an external stakeholder is deemed to be too injurious, then it would not matter whether a ‘major stakeholder’ supports its removal. That’s a decision for the school and education leaders.

Article 1 also frames tackling in school rugby as essential, by claiming that “the danger then, of removing the tackle from compulsory rugby in schools as has been proposed, is that it would deny the need and opportunity to many young players to begin learning a skill set …“. Is there any evidence that shows tackling needs to be learnt by school children? This claim seems more ideological than evidenced based. It is entangled with corporate interests, rather than a pedagogical justification. An imperative to learn to tackle would cement rugby as an essential part of schooling, and would be useful for the corporations who would be detrimentally affected by the removal of tackling from schools.

This point is worthy of a bit more exploration. Which activities for children should we endorse as children “needing” to learn at school? Swimming? Cycling? Self defense? Throwing? Catching? Where does tackling feature in a hierarchy of essential skills to learn?

Incredibly, article 1 concludes by claiming that the proposal “may also lead to unintended consequences such as an increase in the risk of injury later in participation”. I would have thought that any new adult player later in life would be looked after by rugby clubs they join to ensure they are well prepared before being placed in tackle situations. Isn’t progression an important part of skill development, after all?

Corporate interests in rugby research

What I found interesting is that both articles included declarations of ‘competing interests’ from various authors connected to various rugby governing bodies. Many of the claims and distortions mentioned above seem to favour the interests of rugby organisations. We found no distortions and claims in either article that worked against the interests of rugby organisations. Did we not look hard enough? Was this our bias at work? It would be interesting to see if anyone can find any such distortions.

There was one quote, in article 1, which read – “This proposal does, however, deserve substantial scrutiny for the possibility that it may be an effective (albeit extreme) means to improve player welfare…” (bold added). Despite this quote, not only was the potential effectiveness not investigated, the proposed solution of touch and non-contact rugby was not even mentioned. Oh well, so much for the “substantial scrutiny”.

Was the proposal to remove tackling ever really “extreme”?

A recent survey in the UK found more than half of respondents favoured ‘a ban on tackling at Under-14 (65%), Under-16 (58%) and Under-18 (55%) level.’ So even if removing tackling for children (at schools) used to be an ‘extreme’ idea, it’s not anymore.

How influential were corporate interests in all this? Well, there is certainly an entanglement of corporate rugby interests and defense of the status quo. Whether this framing (as we discuss in the article) was accidental or unconscious is a matter for the writers. We assume that no one would try to purposefully mislead readers. I think we should assume that people in professional positions are making genuine attempts to make the world a better place. But equally, there’s a reason why competing interests sections exist. Whether through unconscious drift, or by accident, or both, I think a range of pressures, assumptions, and ways-of-being can affect the messages that are produced, no matter how much science, objectivity, and integrity is espoused. And so, while unaffiliated advocates can be easy targets for claims of bias and skewed opinions, I suspect it can work both ways.

There is nothing sacred about school sport policies. Sports are added to schools, and removed, for all sorts of reasons. For rugby governing bodies, I suspect the removal of tackling from schools would be unbearable (even as a short term, localised, comparative intervention).

Joe Piggin

12 Small Changes to Increase Physical Activity

We know how amazing physical activity can be. The liberation. The fulfilment. The energy. We know about the wide array of benefits for physical and mental health. Concerted efforts have been made to raise physical activity rates around the world, but progress is slow and difficult (Guthold et al., 2018). For many, the pandemic has led to a decrease in their activity levels. Despite the impassioned efforts of physical activity advocates, there is “limited comprehensive policy action commensurate with the size of the problem” (Salvo et al., 2021).
So here are 12 small changes we can all help with to increase activity for all.

  1. Simply change to a 4-day work week. This would instantly give you, your colleagues, and your bosses about 10 more hours of your own time every week. The weekend would instantly increase by 50%. More free time = more activity.
  2. Merely give everybody a universal basic income. It might cut poverty in half, so people can have more free time for active leisure.
  3. Just have co-ed/mixed PE. All that time spent on dividing a class up could be used to have PE instead. Mixed classes will help children prepare for a lifetime of living amongst people who are different. And kids might learn about new ways of being physically active. And they might make new friends, and not be separated from their existing friends simply because of their sex/gender.
  4. Here’s a radical idea — let children play outside their homes. You can play outside too if you want.
  5. Nationalize or socialize your country’s health care. It will be better for everyone (except maybe health insurance company owners). Sick people won’t have to worry if they can access health-care. They can spend their money at their local swimming pool or gym instead.
  6. Make local swimming pools free. And local gyms. And local running tracks.
  7. One for the men. Make sure women feel as free and safe to be active any time and any place as you/we do.
  8. If you’re in England, change the rules that mean you can only access 8% of land to walk or cycle on. Think of how more active you could be!
  9. Simply get your local council to build high quality, strong bike lockers on every street. Big ones. Really big ones. Paint murals on them.
  10. Suggestions welcome!
  11. And more suggestions welcome!
  12. In the spirit of Christmas, can we get to 12?

England Rugby CEO makes “unbelievable” claims about rugby injuries.

In the midst of managing this concussion crisis, the CEO of England Rugby is quoted in The Guardian as saying “Our evidence shows that rugby is no more dangerous than other sports”.
This is not believable, because actual scientific evidence shows the exact opposite. Here’s a sample of this evidence:

This study published only a few weeks ago and endorsed by England Rugby found that: “Across the spectrum of participation, contact rugby union has high injury and concussion incidence rates relative to other sports…”
This study found that 48 percent of Irish U20 players surveyed had sustained at least one concussion, and the average was 2.25 concussions.
This study of Ireland school rugby players aged 12 to 18 found a lifetime prevalence of diagnosed concussion at 19.4 percent, and an annual concussion prevalence of 6.6%.
This study of 416 New Zealand high school rugby players found that “69% of players had sustained a suspected concussion”.
This study claimed “Compared with semi-contact team sports such as soccer, rugby union has 4 times the incidence of injury, with the potential for more serious injuries.”

Rugby governing bodies are no strangers to promoting false information about injuries to children. In 2017, England Rugby retracted their entire Rugby Safe booklet after myself and Prof Alan Bairner informed England Rugby that they were making false and misleading claims. (Those false and misleading claims were pretty much exactly what the current England Rugby CEO is claiming now.)
A few months earlier, myself and Prof Allyson Pollock explained that World Rugby had made false and misleading claims about injuries to children. CEO Brett Gosper accepted this in a journal (though not through a press release), and they eventually retracted the misleading material. (Again, those false and misleading claims were pretty much exactly what the current England Rugby CEO is claiming now.)

Yesterday’s false and misleading claims by the England Rugby CEO show an ongoing pattern of risk trivialisation. Across many sports, there have been abuses and mistreatment of children in sport. Making misleading claims about injury risks to children is an assault on the credulity of parents and children. It is a corruption of the scientific canon and dereliction of England Rugby’s duty of care.

On a more personal level, it’s particularly disturbing that data on traumatic injuries to children is being ignored by the leadership of England rugby. It’s like those children’s injuries don’t matter enough.

I am particularly surprised such a wild claim about injury risk is being made when England Rugby is facing questions about it’s treatment of professional players. I call for England Rugby to retract their most recent wild, unbelievable claim.

Lastly, here is a draft infographic which focuses on the risks in rugby…

What are the injury risks involved in playing rugby?

I’ve had some interesting interactions over the years with organisations who have made bold (inaccurate) claims about the risks of participating in rugby. Here is a humble start to shape some information for parents who want to know more about some of the immediate and possible long term injury risks that come from playing rugby. I’ve tried to be as concise and candid as possible. Weighing up what to include and exclude is a an important issue when shaping and crafting injury risk information for public consumption. Feedback is welcome on this!

Physical activity for liberation and repression

Many governments are trying to “nudge” their residents and citizens to be slightly more active.

But some governments are doing the opposite.

Some governments are trying to repress their citizens to be more docile.

We see only glimpses of the brutality. But these glimpses are enough to convince any reasonable uninvolved onlooker to side with the unarmed peaceful protesters, the children in schools, the girls sitting on benches.

Belarus (a country I have never been to) has seen 80 days of peaceful protests by citizens demanding fair elections. The “government” has censored media, tried to expel opposition political leaders, and begun a brutal regime of repression against the protesters. The repression has resulted in deaths of many, and physical trauma and mental trauma for hundreds, if not thousands of detained people.

But people in Belarus persist. For months they have staged powerful demonstrations of their commitment to their cause. As someone spectating from afar, I could be criticized for succumbing to propaganda campaigns. But I have seen enough footage to be convinced of whose side I choose. When faceless goons brutally repress protesters who are simply standing, talking or walking, one side loses any claim to legitimacy. The goons have kidnapped children from school.

And still the protests persist. In response they sing more, march more and dance more. It is politics through physical activity. Muscular goons versus peaceful marchers. Who will win?

John Lewis, the USA civil right campaigner and congressman spoke about the “good trouble, necessary trouble” he got into. One of the most important methods for change was marching. Being present, occupying physical spaces and antagonizing the “official” order of things were seen to be a legitimate action in the face of oppression.

Can we and when should we teach and encourage “good trouble”? And how can we it be used most effectively? The risks of engaging are in good trouble are very real. Physical, spiritual and material harm may result and the is no guarantee of success. Can this form of physical activity be called “healthy”? Perhaps it will be for the protesters in the future, but not immediately.

Control of physical activity

On the other side of creative, celebratory protest, are the officials ordered to maintain … order. Denying people movement is a well established form of punishment. Shackles, locks and walls are all used to limit people’s physical activity, both on an individual level and a population level. Yet wherever there is dominating power, there is resistance to it. For example, Mark Norman (2017) notes that while prisons are institutions built to physically contain certain individuals, they are also sites for the development and expression of vibrant physical cultures.

Outside of prisons too, there is a ever-present interplay between autonomy and control. In the day to day hum-drum of life:
Individuals spend time, attention and money trying to control their own bodies, their emotions and health.
Governments spend time, attention and money trying to control other people’s bodies, emotions and health.
Organisations spend time, attention and money trying to control their members.

Good control for physical activity

Control is often an unpalatable word though. Instead, policies in relatively peaceful nations which promote physical activity use terms like encourage, inspire, manage, nudge, and educate as proxies for their desire to control. Most often, physical activity promoters emphasize the liberating potential of physical activity. The idea that being physically active will somehow free oneself from stress and other people is appealing, and the therapeutic effect of activity is increasingly popular in policy, with its association to mental well-being. Physical activity policies cannot impose strict regulation of physical activity (expect perhaps for school physical education), and so increasing emphasis is given to controlling  physical landscapes to facilitate increased population physical activity rates.

A final thought

There have traditionally been 3 “domains” of physical activity – work, leisure and routines of daily life (including active transport). I wonder where a protest march would fit? Hmmm, we might need a new domain.

After Covid, how much rugby should children play?

When this Covid pandemic finishes, you might be thinking about which sports will be best for your child. Well, rugby is clearly enjoyable for many people, and is helpful for fitness and socializing (though of course most other children’s sport have similar benefits). Rugby, apparently, has also been “building character since 1823“, according to the global governing body.

But if you are thinking about encouraging your child to play rugby, do consider this new research which shows an alarming rate of concussion (brain trauma / brain injury) in school students who play rugby. In a study of 416 New Zealand high school rugby players, the findings indicated that 69% of players had sustained a suspected concussionduring their playing of the sport at school. Did you read that properly? 69%? Really? Does that seem high?

You may be shocked at these stats. And if you’re a staunch rugby defender, you may be very skeptical about this research. Let’s go through some potential issues:

You might think it was done by biased researchers with an anti-rugby, anti-risk agenda. But, actually, of the 8 researchers involved, 4 work for New Zealand Rugby, including the “lead” researcher. The other 4 researchers work for various universities.

You might think the children are exaggerating when reporting their brain injuries. But actually, we can infer the number of concussions could be even higher than the reported figure, for two reasons. First, the researchers state: “NZ Rugby has a mandated 21 or 23-day stand-down period if a player has been removed for a suspected concussion depending on their age. While this policy prevents players with a suspected concussion from returning which is an important safety consideration, it may also have the detrimental side effect of increasing nondisclosure in players.”
Second, the researchers state “the responses of the current sample may not include the characteristics of players who have withdrawn from rugby participation due to concussions or the risk of possible concussions.” So for anyone who thinks the 69% is overstating the issue, it might reasonably be that 69% is an understatement.

You might think the “suspected” concussions reported by the participants weren’t always diagnosed by a doctor – it was sometimes only the children’s views about specific concussion symptoms. Well, 31% of participants did receive a medical diagnosis of concussion, which is still very high, right? So should we give the benefit of the doubt to the other children and adolescents who participated in the research? We may as well, right?

You might be angry about this perceived attack on one of the great sports in [insert your country here : ) ]. If so, have a chat to children who you know and see what they think about this research.

You might not be able to access the article because you’re not at a university and it’s behind a paywall. If that’s the case, you could email the researchers to inquire about a free copy! Or pay the journal £34 to get access to the article! Or lobby the government that you as a (probable) tax payer, deserve access to research conducted on school children by sports organisations and universities!

To conclude …

Should we agree that no matter how fun and “character building” an activity is, if it imposes a 69% concussion rate risk during a student’s schooling, there should be some serious reviews? If you disagree, what’s your “acceptable risk”? Is 50% of children having a traumatic brain injury acceptable? Or 49%? I wonder what percentage of the children themselves think is tolerable when it come to traumatic brain injury in school sport.

Joe P

The Pandemic and the Effects on Activity

As I wrote about in my recent book, physical activity is deeply political:

“Promoting physical activity requires suggesting (and sometimes dictating) what people do with their time, their money, their bodies and their minds. By espousing meanings of, reasons for, and policies to promote physical activity, a vast array of experts, from policy makers to academics and health promoters are, without hyperbole, engaged with the meaning of life.”

It’s unusual to emphasise something in parentheses, but

so unusual has this pandemic been,

so devastating the effects,

and so wide-ranging the interventions, that it is worth reflecting on.

The first three months of this pandemic has exposed many failures by governments to implement good policies to combat the virus. At the same time, the ways physical activity is organised and arranged has been the subject of intense debate. Here’s a rough chronology …

Concrete interventions deployed to keep people from moving too close. Rules, signs, instructions all deployed to manage people and their movement

Tensions between “stay at home” messages and “exercise for health” messages

The rationale of being active for “mental health” being emphasised by many spokespeople, seemingly to alleviate the built-up tensions of people confined for too long.

Anecdotal increases in people exercising in parks, with police required to manage belligerents who are not exercising (enough)

Anxiety about social distancing (which should really be called physical distancing).

The subsequent guilt of being out for too long, or shaming of those who are out for too long

Possible annoyance at others not remaining distant enough.

Possible shaming of those seen to be flouting the rules.

Urgent revisions made to cycling routes and pedestrian routes in some cities.

The erosion of at least some goodwill about distancing.

Academics have also responded. For example:

A litany of programmes and promotion material to get people active during lockdown

Academic journals dedicating issues on future of sport (in Managing Sport and Leisure and European Journal of Sport Management)

Intense questions about whose authority counts. For example, criticisms of lockdown “PE” on youtube

Most recently, in Ireland, “young people are being asked to choose having sex online or over the phone to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

The imposition of various degrees of limitations on all of us, and the transgressions that will inevitably occur will be testing for everyone. It is undoubtedly the case that we all need to manage our physical activity in different ways for the (un)foreseeable future. This will require heightened attention to sympathy, tolerance and respect for our own physical activity AND inactivity, as well as others’. Good luck to us all!

Joe Piggin

There is nothing inherently good about physical activity

Unfortunately people move, act and perform for all sorts of awful, harmful, destructive reasons.
It’s physical assault by bullies, thugs and criminals.
It’s peer pressure from body shamers.
It’s using exercise to punish children.
It’s 69% of children getting concussion from a school sport.
It’s your golf game during a pandemic.
It’s commuting employees putting themselves in harm’s way.
It’s marching for a racist ideology.
It’s “law enforcement” shooting children dead and police brutality.
It’s worker exploitation.

So there is nothing inherently good about moving your body. We need to advocate and promote positive movement. Since we imbue movements with specific goals and meanings, we need to look out for and confront physical activity which oppresses and marginalizes. We need to condemn activities which hinder the flourishing of human potential.