Comments about ‘Amy Donaldson: We need real conversations about the dangers of football’

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Published: Sunday, March 17 2013 3:20 p.m. MDT

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Juice Box
Eureka, UT

Here's the thing, Amy:

Do you think, perhaps, that if it is "impossible" to make football safe, that the players would have stopped playing if by now if they cared?

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Let's look at some facts instead of getting caught up in the "danger de jour" which happens to be football (this week).

How many people die or are injured in car crashes compared to football? From motorcycles or even bicycle accidents. Maybe even the number of kids who drown in bath tubs or are accidentally run over in their own driveway?

Of course, part of the liberal jihad against football is that it ivolved (gasp!) physical violence, but even worse, that there are actual winners and losers instead of everyhone getting a trophy.

Come on, life is a risky thing, and yes, football does involve some risk, but so does everything else a person ever does.

drumboy12
New York, NY

Juice,

Read the last paragraph. It's not about whether or not we can make football "safe." but it might be about the false sense of security people get from wearing helmets and pads. Players (especially younger ones) may feel that the sport IS 100% safe with a helmet as long as they don't get their ankle twisted. She (and I) believe players might care about their brains, but they don't fully understand or comprehend the significance of the risks involved, especially since much of this research is fairly new and not necessarily widespread among the population.

UU32
Bountiful, UT

Great article Amy. It is a serious conversation that needs to happen. The studies are very clear. Particularly with young developing brains it is important for people to understand the risk that their children have of long term damage. The argument that everything has risk is not a good one. We drive cars, and fly in planes because we have to. There are many recreational opportunities for our youngsters that don't involve the high risk of brain injury. I'm not saying that parents should pull their children from little league tackle football, but they ought to be much better educated about brain health. In any little league around the beehive state the number of "reported concussions" is much less than the actual number of concussions. Parents need to better understand what to look for and where to go for true diagnosis. The "snot bubble", "bell rung", or "dinged" language need to change. Head aches after practice need to be taken seriously. Coaches teaching "screws on the chin" or "screws on teeth" need to be educated or driven out of little leagues everywhere. The culture of football must change or the sport will die altogether.

JSB
Sugar City, ID

re. DN Subscriber: "How many people die or are injured in car crashes compared to football? From motorcycles or even bicycle accidents. Maybe even the number of kids who drown in bath tubs or are accidentally run over in their own driveway?"

This is a smoke screen. The accidents you mention are not because of taxpayer funded high school football. I, for one, will never vote to increase taxes for our school district as long as they have a football team.

freedomforthepeople
Sandy, UT

I believe football will not be a high school sport within a few years. The liability is too high and the lawsuits will be its demise. And I say, that may well be the first good thing accomplished through personal injury law.

As a nurse and a parent, it is shocking how much evidence there is that this sport harms many thousands of children each year, in permanent and very important ways. Their cognition (their ability to think) is negatively impacted, meaning they will have less potential academically and very likely memory problems later in life. Not to mention the most horrifying consequence in my mind - which is the damage to the emotion centers that makes young adult men literally "crazy" in large numbers (compared to the general population).

Americans are resilient and very ingenious. Were we to eliminate football right now, it wouldn't be long before an amazing, interesting and safer sport would take its place and we would learn to love it, just as much as football. I'd love to see what we come up with! I hope, for our childrens' sake, football becomes just a memory in my lifetime.

RockOn
Spanish Fork, UT

Trust a woman writer. The solution is to talk about our relationship. Good grief. Women are from Venus. This Martian considers this a lousy solution. Virtually every parent I know is fully aware that there may be consequences to playing football but, in typical American style, we always figure it will be the other guy, not our kid. That's not going to change.

In fact, football is NOT the most dangerous sport. Try women's gymnastics and soccer. More injuries there. And headers can be worse than a collision with a helmet on. I still have a sore leg from a kick to the shin I received when playing soccer for BYU.

Cut the hysteria and estrogen approach to solving problems.

SLCguy
Murray, UT

Dear Martian,

It is NOT 'only' women that are having these thoughts, and asking for more and more information. Anthony Munoz (yes, the NFL Hall of Famer) was asked recently when his son was going to start playing Football. His answer? "Never!"

As a father of 2 sons still playing Football, my biggest hope (and worry) is that they aren't the ones that will be carried off the field that day.

I want them to be the hurt-er instead of the hurt-ee.... and that steals a small piece of my humanity every time I think that.

Go Utes!
Springville, UT

As long as we are talking about Football lets have a conversation about girl Soccer as well. I have seen more girls injured from playing soccer year round than boys injured from playing football.

DC Fan
Wx, UT

nice aticle as usual... we need to look at all sports. some are using the bike as an example... your bike doesn't result in head injury every day like you could in football.

JSB
Sugar City, ID

@ Go Utes! "As long as we are talking about Football lets have a conversation about girl Soccer as well. I have seen more girls injured from playing soccer year round than boys injured from playing football."

Do you have any actual statistics to show that women's soccer is more dangerous that football? Or is your claim just your opinion?

Big Bubba
Herriman, UT

Hockey recently went through a bunch of rule changes to minimize head injuries. But in football where people line up across from each other and then charge gang busters into the other line, I don't know that anything can be done short of changing the nature of the game. If we make them lock heads before the ball is put into play then it is merely rugby with pads.

Go Utes!
Springville, UT

JSB.

the Desnews will not let me post a link, so use the google search term "head injuries from girls soccer" the first three or so results are good resources. the RockCenter report on NBC news is a good story from about a year ago and the attending article has a good link to the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Have a gander at the information and see for yourself.

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