There is an all too pervasive view abroad in the land that team sports are sacrosanct and are not and should not be subject to the normal processes of the civil law. The basic argument is that only the internal administrators have the expertise to determine the acceptability or reasonableness of particular contact between players and the scope of the players' consent to contact and the risks that they assume. A more emotional argument but one that must not be underestimated is that team sports are so much a part of American life that they should enjoy a special status apart from those workaday activities subject to the strictures of tort law.
Harvey L. Zuckman, Throw ‘Em to the Lions (or Bengals): The Decline and Fall of Sports Civilization, 5 J.C.& U.L. 55 (1977).