After the Super Bowl: Stats say we love football, as long as our kids aren’t playing
Super Bowl Sunday, more than any other day of the year, reminds us just how much a part of our culture football is. Whether you’re a die-hard fan, or just there for the food and friends, millions of Americans tuned in to see the big game last night. Super Bowl XLIX was the highest rated game in Super Bowl history, and the highest-rated television event of the year.
So, then, what are we to do with the increasing number of studies linking football to concussions and lasting brain damage? A recent Bloomberg poll reported nearly half of American parents don’t want their sons playing football. A study by Robert Morris University indicates that most parents don’t want their children to play football before high school. Another recent study published in the New York Times found that retired players who began playing before the age of 12 had a higher risk for mental problems later in life.
Fortunately, some members of the NFL and USA Football are responding proactively and responsibly.
Mike Haynes, former NFL defensive linebacker, recently led a “Moms Clinic,” one of many similar events across the country, designed to show mothers how the game can be played safely. To allay fears, the hands-on program teaches mothers (many of whom are the decision-makers when it comes to whether or not their sons play football) how to safely tackle and avoid head injury. The “Heads Up Football Program” is another set of workshops and courses for coaches and trainers, emphasizing the importance of proper headgear, tackling correctly, and identifying head injury risks, all in an effort to demonstrate that the game can be played safely.
The N.F.L. needs vibrant youth leagues to ensure that it can continue to have a stream of talented players and grow the devoted fan base that has helped turn the league into a $10-billion-a-year business. – NYT
Not everyone is convinced. Some critics of the program suggest that this is a marketing tactic to soften the NFL’s image and save face, while masking the fact that football is inherently dangerous. Alternatively, some say these programs coddle children and detract from the tradition of the sport.
These Are The Realities of Head Injuries
We cannot ignore the reality of concussive injuries and their lasting effects on young athletes. If increased awareness and better training is not implemented, not only will the brain injury epidemic worsen, but our youth will eventually be robbed of the opportunity to enjoy the game’s positive aspects: teamwork, physical activity, discipline. But those who provide that opportunity must do so responsibly. Just as we teach the importance of sportsmanship, so must we emphasize safety: not to diminish the tradition of the game but to uphold it.
This is important to keep in mind not only with football, but with all girls’ and boys’ youth sports programs. If your child has suffered a brain injury or concussion in a sports-related accident, contact the attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. We will answer your questions and help you to determine the next steps to take. Call us at 855-866-5529.
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