Football industry pushes football to turn boys into men again


grab for straws?

The football industry, from youth level to the National Football League, is under the microscope due to concussions which appear to lead to possible permanent brain damage in a good number of players as they age. The National Football League denies there is a link between concussions and permanent brain damage. The NCAA follows the same line of thinking. But football people know that parents are a little more aware of the dangers their children repeatedly take to their heads. Some researchers have concluded that minor blows to the head can inflict more damage than a major blow to the head. But the National Football Foundation is taking a different approach which it hopes will influence parents who are unsure whether they want to allow their children to play tackle football. The NFF, which has an ongoing ‘Football Matters’ campaign, has added new material aimed at persuading parents.

The NFF doesn’t even address the issue of concussions. Instead, the NFF uses the old adage in football that turns boys into men. The campaign will highlight the many benefits football brings to communities, schools, families and individuals, as well as the opportunities it provides for the young men who play it. Steve Hatchell, president and CEO of the NFF, seems to be pleading with parents to let the kids put on the helmet and pads. “Football unites people. Think of the communities across the country that come together on Friday nights in the fall to cheer on their hometown team. Think of people from different backgrounds who seem to have nothing in common, but find they share a devotion to their favorite team. Football gives them a common bond. There is so much good in this game.” The football industry is worried that if parents say no to football for their children it disrupts the player pipeline and could ruin the industry.

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) celebrates after intercepting a pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the second half of an NFL football match at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday September 24, 2017 Photo: AP Photo/Tim Ireland.

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