Home > B1 > The Shift in Demand of Football Participation Amidst the Concussion Debate

The Shift in Demand of Football Participation Amidst the Concussion Debate

Most concussions are a result from head to head collisions in football

The history of the United States is a decorated one, including countless academic and technological achievements, major wars, and famous people that arose to stardom. One thing that all of these things have in common is that most of the people involved in them were high political figures, actors, company owners, or scientists/mathematicians. A common category that is forgotten in that list of people that have made up the history of the United States are the athletes. Of the sports that are played, baseball is considered “America’s Game”, but Football has had the most popularity in the past decades of any sport played in the United States. The all-time greats such as Barry Sanders, Joe Montana, and Lawrence Taylor  all played during the time when football thrived in the cities throughout the country without the fear of the most recent and common injury to football players, the concussion. In present day, with the NFL cracking down on illegal hits to the head, and many case studies being held on players who have pleaded that they have post-nfl life troubles because of the concussions that they sustained while playing, kids and parents are looking at football in a way that they have never before done.

The process by which a concussion occurs

The fact that playing football is dangerous is not why most parents are rethinking their decisions to let their kids play the game, that is a given. Increased knowledge of how football players are subject to concussions is the reason why parents are skeptical about football. While football participation around the country has mainly stayed the same or increased or decreased in small increments from its beginning, “according to the National Sporting Goods Association, overall football participation across all ages decreased from 10.1 million in 2006 to 9 million in 2012. And after 16 years of growth in high school, 11-man football participation dropped slightly during the two most recent years in which data was compiled by the National Federation of State High School Associations” (Star-Tribune). While other factors come into play such as other sports and schools, concussions are a prevalent issue among football players and their families, and it is undeniable that concussions are a major factor in deciding on whether or not to play football. Some parents and kids that choose to believe that they can just avoid concussions when playing football, “Football is the most common sport with concussion risk for males (75% chance for concussion” (SCI). The rapid rate at which football players continue to mature and grow at such a young age raises concern for parents that believe their child is not safe playing football. Although the pads, helmets, and rules have changed for the safety of the players at all levels, the game has become a game of viciousness and violence.

Many parents tell their kids that they do not want them playing football because of the issue of health, specifically concussions

The level at which the game of football has escalated is a an enormous level of competitiveness. With bounty systems for big hits, and bad teaching from coaches, the number of concussions in football players is bound to rise. The parents and kids must look at the trade-offs that are willing to be sacrificed when playing football. Some players must play because football is a gateway for them to get a scholarship and a path to a new life, even if that means injury. Others have the opposite point of view and believe that their safety is more valuable than playing a sport. No matter what the circumstances are, it is clear that in recent years there has been a downward shift in demand in football, mainly because of the prevalence of concussions. Most parents believe that the costs outweigh the benefits, which has lead to a downward shift in demand for football. This downward shift will continue to decrease, maybe not to extinction of the sport, but enough to force mandatory action by all of the leagues that provide the sport.

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