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Over the weekend, NASCAR fans went full tilt in reacting to Donovan McNabb’s comment that “NASCAR drivers aren’t athletes”. According to USA Today, Twitter lit up in response to those who jumped to Johnson’s defense. The No.1 trending topic in the U.S. at one point on Friday night was #PeopleWhoAreMoreAthleticThanDonovanMcNabb.

McNabb, former NFL quarterback and Fox Sports Live analyst made the statement that set Twitter afire, saying, “Do I think he’s an athlete? Absolutely not.” Watch video. (USA Today, Donovan McNabb says NASCAR drivers aren’t athletes, fans revolt, November 16, 2013)

According to reports, it appears that Jimmie Johnson and his frequent winning might have something to do with the fact Johnson is also a well-known triathlete. Apparently Johnson recently ran 20 miles in the 7-minute mile range. He says he is training and plans to run in the Boston Marathon the day after competing in a Cup race in Texas next year. (SpeedwayMedia.com, Donovan McNabb Ignorantly Claims Jimmie Johnson Is Not An Athlete, November 16, 2013)

Speedway media’s, Nick DeGroot rebutted McNabb’s statement about NASCAR drivers, citing:

  • Racecars at speeds upwards of 170 mph are no comparisons to speeds of a street car
  • The fittest driver in the garage is the most successful, that is no coincidence
  • Drivers have reflexes on par with a fighter pilot’s
  • Drivers’ endurance rivals Olympic track runners
  • Races require an extremely high level of alertness for three to four consecutive hours while at the same time fighting G-forces that are constantly pulling your arms down and putting a fair amount of pressure on your chest and legs
  • Hand-eye coordination needed to control the car at the absolute edge of its capabilities and at breakneck speeds is just like the hand-eye coordination needed to hit, catch and throw a ball except for the obvious fact that the stakes are much higher at 200 mph
  • Drivers don’t get breaks, except for a few seconds throughout a race, in football plays last seconds, in baseball, players sit on the bench sometimes in between innings

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“As we look around at the injuries we’ve seen this year, it’s important to remember that there are present day risks and long-term issues that come with every competition. Whether it’s a record number of injuries in the NFL this season, Kobe’s ACL tear, Dario Franchitti’s career ending IndyCar accident, or even NASCAR’s Bobby Lebonte’s bicycle accident that occurred riding near his house, one constant remains: physical and mental ability are required to be successful in any and all sports.

“So as McNabb fires up revolt on Twitter and Jimmie Johnson all but invites McNabb to join him on the track to test the rigors of racing even on a cart track (Dan Patrick Show NBCSN, November 18, 2013), my advice to all athletes is, sit down, talk with your agent, your coach, sponsors and owners and drill into the details of getting an individual own-occupation disability insurance policy,” says Frank N. Darras, disability lawyer to the pros.

Individual disability insurance policies cover the earning ability of everyone. Whether you are a pro-athlete, a rising Olympic star, or a college athlete looking to keep your rank in the draft, disability insurance is income protection should a career-ending injury occur. In a split second, a career can change and the only sure-fire way to protect your income, your lifestyle and your family is to have a rock solid policy in place, says Darras.

DarrasLaw is Americas' most honored and decorated disability litigation firm in the country. Mr. Darras has seen more, evaluated more, litigated more, and resolved more individual and group long term disability and long-term care cases than any other lawyer in the United States.

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