A study on brain injuries in youth football should sound alarms.
It is Friday and that means it is Friday Night Lights and youth football weekend which is very much a part of the American culture in the fall. But another football-brain injury study came out this week which should give parents cause to worry about sending their children under the age of 12 onto the field to play tackle football and National Football League owners a major concern. A study by Boston University researchers claimed that those who began playing football under the age of 12 had more behavioral and cognitive problems later on in life than those who started later over the age of 12. The findings will have a greater significance on the youth football level but it will also pose problems for the NFL which insists that there is no link between permanent brain injuries and football.
Pop Warner Football is being sued by plaintiffs who contend the group knowingly put children in danger and ignored the risks of brain injuries. Pop Warner officials content that they have adjusted rules to make the game safer. But these arguments about football are not new, eleven decades ago, President Theodore Roosevelt was put in a position where he could have imposed a ban on football but rules were changed and the game went on. It seems those early 20th century rules to make the game safer were just a band aid. Can the game be made safer? Football remains a collision game and that is not going to change. Bodies have to run into each other blocking or tackling. The quarterback has to go down and go down hard according to the Al Davis school of football. None of that is particularly healthy for a body whether it is an eight year old or a 28 year old. The NFL wants more women fans and there is a reason. They want parents to allow their kids to play football.
High School Football depends on youth football as a feeder system.