Five ways to protect football and players’ brains, keep sport alive

We have some sense of how dangerous repeated blows to the head can be. The NFL has adopted and enforced concussion protocols that take clearly injured players off the field. But football has not changed enough.

By

Opinion

September 2, 2021 - 8:54 AM

As more and more parents in the U.S. see the connection between football and brain damage, the game we love will change. Many will tell their teenage boys, “You can play any sport you want … except tackle football.” What’s left will be a gladiator sport.

We now know that football is harming players through repeated trauma and long-term brain damage. From the NFL on down to Pop Warner youth leagues, the game, the training and the gear must adapt to reduce harm. Decades of data tell us what needs to change.

Having represented professional athletes since 1975, I’ve been worrying about football players’ health since long before the first diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a former NFL player, in 2002.

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