Is high school football so dangerous that it needs to be banned?
That’s the controversial new idea being proposed by Dr. Paul Butler, a retired doctor and school board member in New Hampshire. He says too many kids are getting concussions. And the scary fact is, head injuries have been linked to dangerous long-term brain diseases. That’s why Dr. Butler says schools and parents have a moral obligation to at least think about ending the game of football.
In fact, Dr. Butler says point blank: “High school football is too dangerous for underage students.” For starters, research shows that hard tackles on the football field can be the equivalent of taking a sledge hammer to the head! And even minors who play Pee Wee League football are exposing themselves to head trauma.
Also, coaches and players don’t always recognize concussions, and going back into a game too soon can lead to Second Impact Syndrome, that's a condition in which the brain swells rapidly after a person suffers a second concussion before the first one has subsided. It can be fatal - and if it's not, it can result in catastrophic injuries.
And it doesn’t matter how severe or mild the first concussion was, and can happen minutes, days, or weeks after the first concussion.
As you might expect, many parents say football is an “American institution” that should be left alone - especially in high school. Plus, critics say we can’t take the risk out of everything in life.
But Dr. Butler says, quote: “A game that uses the head as a battering ram is not a smart game to allow kids to play.”
So what do you think? Should we keep trying to make football safer for kids? Or just give up and ban it? Weigh in at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.