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Should Parents Prevent Their Children from Playing America’s Favorite Sport?

Youth+football+players+showcasing+head+hitting.+
Youth football players showcasing head hitting.

Youth football players showcasing head hitting.

Youth football players showcasing head hitting.

Jacob Koester, Staff Writer

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After multiple suicides and deaths of former NFL players, parents with children are wondering whether to let their children play football or not. Unfortunate examples include the suicides of former NFL defensive stars Junior Seau and Dave Duerson. I believe parents should keep their kids out of football until some reform is made in the sport.

Despite all the protective gear that the players wear, football is a dangerous sport and injuries are part of the game. The fact that players wear various pads and helmets makes the situation worse because players then feel that they are invincible. After multiple suicides and deaths of former NFL players, parents with children are wondering whether to let their children play football or not. Unfortunate examples include the suicides of former NFL defensive stars Junior Seau and Dave Duerson. I believe parents should keep their kids out of football until some reform is made in the sport. Despite all the protective gear that the players wear, football is a dangerous sport and injuries are part of the game. The fact that players wear various pads and helmets makes the situation worse because players then feel that they are invincible. Football players in high school, college, or the NFL all play with their heads; unfortunately, not figuratively.

Players lead with their heads to tackle and aim for their opponents’ heads when trying to hit. The constant use of head-on attacks in football eventually takes a toll on players later in life. Take the case of Dave Duerson, who was a Pro Bowl safety in the 1980s. Duerson was known as a “headhunter” as part of the hard-hitting Chicago Bears defense. Shockingly, on February 17, 2011, at the age of 50, Duerson committed suicide. He shot himself in the chest and left a note saying that he wanted his brain to be studied in order to see why he was suffering so much. Neurologists from Boston University concluded that Duerson suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy as a result of his head injuries from his time a player. More recently, former linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide. Like Duerson, he shot himself in the chest so research could be conducted on his brain.

Football players in high school, college, or the NFL all play with their heads; unfortunately, not figuratively.”

The impending repercussions of CTE and brain trauma associated with playing football may also have an impact on the game’s future. The tragedies that were witnessed have taken a toll on football fans, especially parents with children. Concerned parents around the country have forbidden their children from playing football. I believe they have a justified reason to prevent their kids from playing the sport. No parent wants their child to endure the pain and suffering that some former players have had to deal with. I believe a change needs to be made within the sport to make sure the post-football traumas do not happen. More studies need to be made on brains and CTE as a disease. Also, since football, at all levels, has a head-hitting culture, change must be made when players are young. Youngsters need to be taught to avoid using their heads completely. This would ultimately stop the use of head hitting at youth, high school, college, and pro levels. Players lead with their heads to tackle and aim for their opponents’ heads when trying to hit.

 

I believe a change needs to be made within the sport to make sure the post-football traumas do not happen. More studies need to be made on brains and CTE as a disease. Also, since football, at all levels, has a head-hitting culture, change must be made when players are young. Youngsters need to be taught to avoid using their heads completely. This would ultimately stop the use of head hitting at youth, high school, college, and pro levels.

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Should Parents Prevent Their Children from Playing America’s Favorite Sport?