Over the past several months, the news has focused on the dangers of football and its link to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). In October of 2015, news broke about a Missouri high school ending its football program. Now, a story in USA Today indicates that high school football may have reached its boiling point as the number of children playing the sport has started to decrease across the country.
According to the news article, “Roughly 1.1 million high school students play 11-man football in grades 9-12, more than any other sport. That’s down slightly — about 10,000 — for 2014, the most recent season for which a count is available from the National Federation of State High School Associations.” The numbers may not seem like much – what is 10,000 out of more than a million? – but it is definitive step in the direction of ending high school football, as more and more parents and students decide that this sport is not for them.
The end of a tradition?
High school football is a very big deal to a lot of families. Throughout the US, in some families playing is a tradition, and a way for kids to make new friends while engaging in a game that the whole family loves.
High school football is also a very dangerous game. Numerous injuries are caused by the game, some causing permanent impairment. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be deadly. Nineteen families throughout the country have paid the ultimate price this past season.
The issue has garnered significant attention as of late, most recently with the movie Concussion, starring Will Smith, which was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor. There was also a critically acclaimed documentary produced by Frontline that also highlighted the dangers of CTE in the sport and how for many years the NFL apparently tried to cover it up.
Perhaps, then, it is time for football families to start new traditions. Participation in youth football has been declining for years, meaning some families have already started cheering for their kids at different sporting events; the same can be done by families with high-school age children. And as more and more families opt for less dangerous sports, we are likely to see a decline in the number of college players too, leading to the potential end of pro ball.
Taylor Jones Taylor is a premier personal injury law firm serving families throughout Mississippi. To make an appointment with a Southaven personal injury lawyer, we invite you to contact us. We maintain offices in Olive Branch and Hernando as well, for your convenience.