CNN quietly published an article Thursday talking about a joint announcement between retired NFL players and researchers from Boston University. The big announcement: there should be a ban on tackle football for kids 13 and under.
Using their own experiences as evidence, the players pleaded for parents to realize the dangers their children are getting into. While in high school, CTE dangers are rampant, but it’s even worse before age 14. CNN then went into a brief outline of the NFL’s concussion protocol and how it’s not substantial enough, saying “concussions are the red herring of CTE.”
It’s a pretty brief, but interesting read and worth a few minutes to at least gloss over. It’s no secret the NFL has been trying to right the wrongs of head trauma, probably out of public perception more than anything.
Current NFL players have echoed these sentiments. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has been quoted as saying he won’t let his kids play football until high school due to genetics and how some kids grow larger than others. Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner has said he would prefer his sons not play football at all. Brett Favre recently said he hopes his kids take up golf instead of football.
For those of us that played football before high school, it definitely makes sense. How many times were you dominated in an Oklahoma drill or trucked by a guy who was twice your size? For my junior high team we had lightweight and heavyweight leagues, but the heavyweights were simply a certain weight “and up” and sometimes that weight was twice the threshold.
What are your thoughts on your kids playing tackle football before high school?