Fine, maybe it's kind of small.
It also has enough problems already, even without the poisonous water. Crime is especially rampant in Wind River, with a crime rate that was five to seven times higher than the national average at one point. When President Obama launched an initiative aimed at reducing crime on reservations by flooding them with National Park Service officers, it worked almost everywhere. Wind River was the exception. Crime there increased by seven percent.
As of 2012, life expectancy on the reservation was 49 years. Unemployment was somewhere around 80 percent. Those figures were bad enough to make Wind River a worse place to live than Iraq and Zimbabwe, respectively. Polluted drinking water is the last thing they need.
The Soccer Goalie Cancer Outbreak
Duan Kostia/iStock/Getty Images
It's a weird time to be a soccer player in the United States right now. Why? Because it's apparently a great way to give yourself cancer. Nationwide, at least 38 high school and college soccer players have been diagnosed with various forms of the disease. Weirdly, of those 38, a whopping 34 of them played the same position: goalie.
No one knows for sure what's causing the outbreak, but all 38 cases have exactly one thing in common. Without exception, those kids all played on an artificial surface called "crumb rubber." It's exactly what it sounds like: tiny crumbs of rubber, a lot of it consisting of recycled tires. Players regularly complain about how the "little black dots" get in hair, clothes, mouths, and open wounds when diving around on the mutant turf.
So this, but in your blood and lungs.
Is that what's causing the cancer? No one knows for sure, but the crumb rubber is the suspected culprit. It stands to reason that if it is the cause, then goalies would be impacted the most. They do a lot more diving to the ground during the course of a game than any other position, so they'd have the most intense exposure to the potential carcinogen. The cancer-causing effects of crumb rubber haven't been confirmed, but an analysis of the chemicals released by the substance revealed some unfortunate news. Instead of trying to explain it, here's a screenshot:
You might as well be smoking while you play.
You'll note that last paragraph mentions lead. You know, like the substance that's forcing residents of Flint to ask the government for bottled water? And that's just one of the potentially damaging substances a person who comes in constant contact with crumb rubber is exposed to.
Even if a direct link between this playing surface and cancer hasn't been made yet, it's obvious that someone somewhere has some concerns, because school districts and organizations all around the country have moved away from using the artificial turf in recent years. New York City quit installing crumb rubber turf at their parks in 2008. The Los Angeles Unified School District followed suit in 2009. The people of San Francisco have been fighting for years to keep artificial turf from being installed at Golden Gate Park.
Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Because you can't grow weed on it, probably.
Weirdly, artificial turf is at the center of a gender discrimination controversy as well. You see, the Men's World Cup is always played on real grass. For some reason, in 2015, FIFA decided that the Women's World Cup would be played on crumb rubber surfaces. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of several prominent players, including United States soccer hero Abby Wombach. But with FIFA being FIFA and all, the suit fell apart after a number of participants withdrew their support, citing concerns over discrimination and reprisals from the organization resulting from their association with the suit.
On the bright side, the USA totally won the World Cup that year!
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