The Safety of Football

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Why do players put themselves at life threatening risks given the minimal chances of success? The safety of football is one of the most discussed topics in today’s sports world, and many people are starting to believe football shouldn’t be played. What many people do not realize is that with more advancements in the safety, and more strict rules of the game, the sport can become safer, and that can lead to the continuation of football, while also keeping players safer than in the past. Ending the game of football would break hearts of many people trying to pursue their dreams, and with ways to make the game safer, there is no need to put an end to their dreams. Even though football can cause injuries, it should still be played to due the fact that changes to the safety of the sport can be made.

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Football is a sport of rigorous physical activity, and many injuries every season. People argue that football can cause life changing injuries to a player, and that these injuries are not worth the risk of playing this vigorous sport. Many other people believe that the injuries in football are not as severe as people think. In an article published by NCAA.org, they released statistics of football injuries from 2004 to 2009. There are many football injuries every year, and many people may not be aware of how many there are. From 2004 to 2009, there were More than 41,000 injuries (Football Injuries). This statistic shows that the possibility, and the threat of injuries puts an extreme number of players at risk every time they step onto the field. NCAA.org also stated that of these injuries, 7.4% of the injuries come from concussions, 4.3% injuries relate to the head, face, and neck, 16.9% relate to the upper limbs, 11.9% relate to the torso and pelvis, 50.4% are in relation to lower limbs, and 9.1% happen to other parts of the body. Although some of these injuries can usually be minor, there is no denying that some of the head, face, and neck injuries can cause serious health issues. Another reason that makes believe think about football coming to an end, is the fact that no matter how safe you make the sport, there will always be injuries in the games, because that is part of the sport. In a article by Piedmont.org, they talk about the pros and cons of the sport, and the ways to make it safer and regulate it. Dr. Behr, an orthopedic surgeon at Piedmont, stated Regardless of how safe we make it, it’s still a dangerous sport. This explains how football will always be extremely dangerous. There will always be concussions, upper body injuries, and lower body injuries that can cause a large amount of damage to an athlete. So due to the fact that no matter the regulations, new equipment, and different ideas that are brought into existence about football, there will always be injuries that cause players to miss games, and have to recover from the injuries. Even with better ideas, there will still be injuries that cause long term damage to a player, and injuries that affect a player in the future from doing things that he would have been able to do if the injury had never occured. Football’s most notorious football injuries all deal with the head, and these injuries are some of the main reasons that are causing football to become less popular. In an article by William Levine, MD., and Brett Owens, MD., they stated, A concussion is a change in mental state due to a traumatic impact. This quote alone can cause a parent to become very cautious with allowing their children to play football, because if they suffer a serious head injury, their lives in the future can possibly be extremely altered, and they may not be able to do the things they would’ve been able to do without the head injuries. In an article by Mark Proctor, he talks about the evolution of football equipment, and how even the best equipment can not prevent concussions. He stated, The helmet never was meant to be used for striking your opponent but, rather, as a protective piece of equipment. Since the helmet is not designed to protect a player from a severe head injury, injuries like CTE, which is Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, will occur. CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head, and many NFL players die from this later on in their lives. So if the equipment and rules are not regulated, we could see an extreme decline in football popularity because of the risks of death and severe head trauma if the head continuously gets hit.

Although football causes a variety of injuries, it should continue to be played because it teaches life lessons for the athletes, and it is becoming safer. One of the main reasons, is that football can cause teamwork, and help players develop better as men, and learn qualities that will help them in their futures. According to Hunter Hewitt, a former fitness editor for Active.com, stated in an article, Kids who play football will learn the importance of being disciplined with everything they do. Football players will learn different lessons that are not taught or learned by many people because they do not participate in a sport like football, where one wrong move or one inch can cost you the game, or cost you the season. In football, you have to be extremely disciplined and engaged in everything you do, which will lead to you having the same mindset towards different challenges in the future. Life lessons for young athletes are key stepping stones for success in the future. Mary L. Gavin, MD., stated Wear the right gear and use a little common sense, and you can help keep yourself injury free and out on the field having a great time. This statement shows a qualified doctor, who you would think would be against the sport of football, supporting it because she believes the life lessons allow the athletes to better their lives in the future, and that it allows them to be more prepared for challenges down the road, and the struggles that are relevant in life. She believes that with the proper safety and coaching, playing football is great because of the fun it can cause for athletes, and the life lessons it teaches.
Many people in today’s world play football because of the desire to make it, and succeed at the next level. For example, Danny Shelton, former Browns Defensive Tackle, and current Patriots Defensive Tackle, has been through the toughest of journies a person can think of. At a young age Danny’s mom, Danny, and his siblings all left their father, because he was abusing their mom, and their mom thought it was best for the children if they left. A few years later on May 1st, Danny’s brother was shot and killed by a gang in Washington. After, Danny dealt with severe anger issues, but was determined to make it to the NFL for his brother, but also for his mother. After college, a few years later, on May 1st, which was the same day that his brother had been killed a few years earlier, Danny was drafted! This is a great example of how football can cause someone to chase their dreams, but also better their lives due to pure determination, and the want to help out their family. This is another reason football should continue to be played. It gives athletes of all chances the possibility to better their lives, and better the lives for the people around them. Another example comes from the University of UND, where two players, that were not on scholarships showed up everyday to practice, and worked so hard just to make the team. When Mike Mannausau, their coach was asked about them, he said, We didn’t recruit either of them. They just showed up because of the great university we have. They’re coachable, they work hard, and they’re willing to do anything it takes in order to play (UND University). This is an example of two college football players working as hard as they can to reach what they want, and it is an example of athletes working until they reach their goal, and wanting to reach their goals, no matter what they have to go through to reach them, and a pure desire to do what they want.

Even though football can cause injuries, it should be played because of the players desires to succeed, and because the league is making the game safer. The significance of this subject is discussed everyday, and although football can cause many injuries, and sometimes even put players at risk in the future, some athletes want to succeed so bad, and better the lives of themselves, and other people, that they disregard the injuries that you can experience, and the threats football poses, because they feel like they can accomplish their dreams and become the person they would like to in the future. People need to care about these reasons, because discontinuing football would crush the dreams of many athletes, and end the success stories we hear about athletes bettering their lives and other people’s lives, because they wanted to succeed so bad, and they would do anything it took to do that. Players put themselves at life threatening risks in football, because they believe that if they work hard enough to be one of the best, they can better their lives and become the person they have dreamt of becoming. Another major reason that some experts believe you should let your child play football, is because the rules are becoming more strict, with more penalty flags, and more rules forbidding unsportsmanlike hits. Jack Bechta, an NFLPA Certified Advisor, stated that More penalties and more reprimands, have been added to the game of football, and in return, are causing the game to become safer for all types of athletes. Bechta also stated I believe you will find a beautiful game filled with less contact, safer methods and better coaches than you imagined. Bechta believes with all the regulations, in a few years, the game of football will be more safe, and turn into the game that many people want to see, and believe the game can turn into. The NFL and highly ranked college teams are pushing for safety rules to be put into place, because if rules are put into place, more people will play, and that will lead to better overall profits for these organizations, which is one of the main goals for football programs. The University of UIL coaching staff stated, How can we make the game better in the state of Texas? How can we make it better and safer for our football players?” This quote exemplifies a football program whose coaches and the staff care more about their players safety than they do their performance. This is the case for many programs, which is a reasons football should continued to be played. It is becoming more about safety, rather than winning or other things.

Due to the fact that athletes learn life lessons that can help them develop in the future, and since football’s rules are being regulated, it should continued to be played because it will help young men develop as people, but it will also allow young men to stay safe while playing the game that these athletes love. Football will become much more of a popular sport because it can help young men, and it’s entertaining to play and watch. Football will soon be very safe, and although you can’t take away all of the physical contact, on the path that football is going, it will allow young men to be better mature in their futures, and it will help them physically, socially, and mentally in the future, and it will better prepare them for the challenges they will face along the road in life, whether it deals with other people or if it just deals with a problem in their own lives that they have to deal with.

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The safety of football. (2019, Dec 10). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from
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