Parents should not prevent their children from playing football. That choice lies in the hands of the athlete.
Injuries to the head and body have become more prevalent for athletes who play football, and they have led parents to prevent their children or future children from participating.
Sure, due to traumatic events such as the death of former NFL great Junior Seau, whose suicide raised awareness about brain injuries, it is fair to have some concern for the athletes.
Current NFL star Ed Reed, in an interview at the Super Bowl media day this past Tuesday, gave an interesting answer when asked about what he felt about the state of the NFL when it comes to brain injuries, and trying to avoid instances such as the Seau incident.
“Did Junior sign up for it? Yeah, he signed up to play football,” said Reed.
However, he did not downplay the effects of the game itself.
“I feel effects from it,"Reed said."Some days, I wake up and I'm like, ‘Where did my memory go?’ But at the same time, I signed up for it."
Like all things in life, we face choices based upon our passions and what we enjoy doing. This does not change for football players, who choose to take the bangs and booms because they love the sport they play.
Plus, the NFL and NCAA have started doing more and more to help the problem by changing various rules when making a hit on a player to promote player safety throughout their respective leagues. While the attempt to solve this problem continues, progress is still being made toward finding an ultimate solution.
The NFL has made the “strike zone” smaller so that helmet-to-helmet contact will not be tolerated. They are also working on improving helmets of players so that hard hits to the turf will not cause severe head injuries, such as more cushion on the inside of the helmets.
Football is undoubtedly one of the most violent sports we have on this planet. However, it is also a contact sport, and demands the ultimate sacrifice out of its players each and every day.
While parents obviously want the safest environment for their children, the game itself evolves each and every day, especially when it comes to the safety of football players. There is no guarantee that incidents like Seau’s will not happen, but they’re becoming more and more scarce.