American football has taken some big hits in recent years, particularly around the dangers of the game. With increasingly more former NFL players showing evidence of brain trauma caused from hits taken while playing football, there is a heightened awareness toward improving the safety of the game. Whether enough equipment improvements and rule changes can be made to mitigate head injuries in football remains to be seen, but it appears as though the scare is big enough that some high schools across country are now examining whether they want to continue to offer football as a school sport.
While it is highly unlikely we will ever see football completely eliminated as an American high school sport, it’s equally unlikely that we will ever have our guard down again and assume there are no concerns around the dangers of football. In fact, just last week a high school football player died, again prompting school officials to take note and examine the safety concerns around football today.
High school sports face many concerns today
Interestingly, high schools today face a number of serious issues — including many legal worries — when it comes to the sports they sponsor. Attorney Lee Green points out the top 10 legal issues, with concussions currently sitting at #1. What this means is that in addition to the obvious health concerns schools have when a student athlete experiences a head injury, there are legal worries as well —- will all of this eventually prompt more schools to pull out from offering football?
The good news for football is that it is often recognized as the flagship sport and greatest revenue-generator in most schools, and Friday night games serve as a community common denominator in bringing folks out and cheering on the home team. Football games almost always draw the biggest crowds, and they are also the most colorful of all school sports when factoring in cheerleaders, dance teams, and of course, the band. It would seem that while a greater attention has been directed toward the safety of football, when you factor in all the other variables relating to how loved the sport is, one would think we are far from reaching the tipping point of eliminating football.
More injuries – or just more cameras today?
Social media will likely play a big part in the future and how people view the safety of football, as it can be expected that dangerous hits, concussions, and fatalities will always prompt viral explosions on the web. Are the concerns more serious today, or are there more cell phones and digital outlets quickly generating electronic traffic and steering the conversation toward dangers that aren’t nearly as bad as what some people would like for us to believe? Whether the dangers of football are as serious as some suggest, or if the heightened worries are due to simply more people filming dangerous hits with their phones remains to be seen. As more research is conducted in the future around the safety of football, important decisions will be made about the safety of the game and whether high schools will continue to offer the sport.