Mike Striar has brought this issue up in questions for both Gail Spector and Matthew Miller, but I feel it deserves its own thread. 

Mike’s position is that football is a dangerous game that has severe consequences for children, especially when it comes to concussions. The center of his point is research that links playing football with brain damage. As he wrote in his comment to Gail, and repeated to Matt: 

This study looked for CTE [Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy] in the brains of 100 deceased pro football players. Of those 100 football players, 99 of them had this neurodegenerative brain disease found in people who have been exposed to repeated head trauma. The study also looked at the brains of deceased college and high school football players. CTE was identified in 48 of the 53 college football players, and 3 of the 14 high school players studied.

The new information prompted Dr Ann McKee, Director of Boston University’s CTE Center [and co-author of the study] to say this… “There’s no question that there’s a problem in football–people who play football are at risk for this disease.”

Mike’s position is clear: ban football. 

For the record: I stopped watching professional football several years ago, in large part because I couldn’t watch other people’s children play a sport that is likely to leave them brain damaged. I wasn’t just a casual fan, I was a season ticket holder for the New York Jets and paid extra for the NFL package.  However, I also know that the culture in this country continues to favor football, so it’s not going anywhere. The Super Bowl is a great example of this, as it’s more of a cultural touchstone than a game. And yes, I do attend Super Bowl parties for that reason alone.

However, I also know that the culture in this country continues to favor football, so it’s not going anywhere. The Super Bowl is a great example of this, as it’s more of a cultural touchstone than a game. And yes, I do attend Super Bowl parties for that reason alone.

Would this city tolerate the loss of football in its high schools? Would students gravitate to other sports or would this just encourage them to play the game outside of high school in clubs? 

Also, given that we’ve also seen concussions in other sports that may not have had the same study and scrutiny, do we start looking to ban those too? This list could include soccer, hockey, lacrosse, and even sailing. My son suffered a concussion when the boom hit his head, and he wasn’t the only one. Enough students had concussions on the sailing team to prompt the mandatory wearing of helmets. 

I’m sure Mike has a lot of detail to add. 







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