I just got an email from my local homeschool group announcing openings in the local homeschool football team. This is notable because as Jews, we were not allowed to be officially part of their group, but I guess football is different. It’s also notable because tackle football is so over-the-top dangerous that I can’t believe homeschoolers are participating.
It’s no longer controversial to say that football is really dangerous and it’s ruining the lives of the players. The National Football League has agreed to a $700 million settlement with the players to compensate them for lifelong brain damage.
What’s shocking to me though is that doctors are coming down hard on pee-wee football, it turns out that kids playing football is much more dangerous than adults playing football. This is because compared to the NFL, there is scant regulation for high school and grade school football.
So what doctors are really saying is that unregulated tackle football is incredibly dangerous.
Some school districts are stepping up to acknowledge this problem. Half the high schools in Nebraska, for instance, take brain scans of kids before the athletic season through the Sports Concussion Network (not just football but sports like softball and lacrosse as well) and then when a kid gets a concussion, a doctor compares the new brain scan with the baseline brain scan and the kid can’t play again until there is a note from the doctor and the parents giving a clean bill of health.
In general kids should not play sports for at least two weeks after a head injury. Most kids play a day later.
So it’s fine that homeschoolers have their own sports leagues. It’s great for kids to have that opportunity to play. But the lack of regulation in alternative football leagues should make you think twice. Take a look at the photos of the brains of football players later in life: Football destroys brains.
The rules of the game will have to change before football is a safe sport to play. You took your kids out of school because you didn’t want to wait until someone figured out how to make school useful. Why keep your kid in football while someone is still figuring out how to make it safe?