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Steelers-Bengals Game Resurrects Questions About The Inherent Brutality Of The NFL

Frank Victores
Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) is carted off the field after a spinal injury in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.


In Monday night’s contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazierwas taken off field during the first quarter with a back injury that reportedly caused him to momentarily lose feeling below the waist. The game was called “vicious” by many, but others, including Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, say that violence is normal for AFC North football.


Was the violence in Cincinnati an aberration? Should the NFL do more to prevent these kinds of injuries? Or should casualties be expected in what is perhaps an inherently brutal sport? Tim Benz, columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Sean Gentille, sports writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, discuss.


Next in the program...


The unemployment rate in the Pittsburgh region is at its lowest point in nine years, but it’s unclear whether that's cause for celebration. According to the state’s monthly workforce report, the fall in unemployment in 2017 is actually driven by people leaving the labor force for good.


Daniel Moore, reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jennifer Beahm, managing editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times, and Doug Heuck, program director for Pittsburgh Today, examine which sectors are growing, which are in decline, and what may be driving Pittsburghers away.

And finally…


President Trump says he wants to give Americans a big Christmas present this year: tax reform. The Republican-controlled Senate and House have each passed their own version of the tax plan, and a conference committee will now try to reach a compromise on the two versions.

Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey, a key player in crafting the plan, is on that committee. But how likely is the plan to be settled before Christmas, and what would the changes mean for Pennsylvanians?

Laura Olson, Washington bureau reporter for the Morning Call, explains.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and storytellers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

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