Letter: Ban contact football through high school
To the editor:
Lukas Loehr argues that failure to expose youngsters to contact football can only increase the risk of serious injury when they begin to play football later in high school (Letter, March 10). If true, this would constitute a coaching failure. The argument also suggests that we best start contact football exposure at first walking to be sure the youngster is alert to safety principles when he begins to play in the peewee leagues.
Football is in the crosshairs of safety analyses because of the inherent violence of the game, violence that has increased over the last generation because of larger bodies, more intense and competitive training, and the incessant NFL replay clips of extreme pro violence. At present, high school football causes about 50 percent of all serious sports injuries, including concussion, which can lead to permanent brain damage. This is why an increasing number of parents are now guiding their children away from peewee and high school football.
Although we may all weigh the value of the lessons differently, I do not disagree that sport teaches valuable lessons. However, we need to impart these lessons without the violence of football. A good start will be the acceptance of flag football through high school.
Dr. Nicholas H. Wright,
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