Sports injuries are not new to sports. However, today’s report on NBC’s Today Show highlighted the growing recognition of the serious long term dangers of football. As a sport psychologist inBoca Raton,FloridaI can tell you that football is a very popular sport that is taken seriously beginning at the youngest ages.
According to a recent study in a medical journal football players were four times more likely to die prematurely than others due to Alzheimer’s and other diseases related to repeated concussions and brain wounds associated with football. This, on top of the recent increase in the number of football players and their families suing the NFL and others over issues ranging from not adequately informing athletes over the risks of the sport to not adequately protecting them.
To reduce these serious sports injuries, improvements have been made to helmets and penalties for “illegal” actions that injure players have increased. Yet, authorities say the biggest risk may be to youth football players, who most of the time, have inadequate protection, preparation, coaching and access to immediate and comprehensive medical care.
Some authorities have recommended that young athletes not be able to participate in tackle football until at least the age of 14. With growing attention to the serious long term sports injuries associated with football, it may be the next generation of parents that encourage their children to participate in sports that have far less risk of permanent injury and premature disease and death.
Eventually, it may me that football goes the way of the gladiators who fought to the death in the coliseum for the amusement of the crowds. Perhaps 50 years from now, people will look back at football and wonder how humans could have ever done that to each other.