Stunning news from a concussion specialist: "Letting kids play football is child abuse":
Bottom Line: Concerns regarding the safety of youth football isn't new or news. They were alive and well when I played 30 years ago. Concussion concerns due to youth athletics, especially football, aren't new worries either. What is, is an interview with Dr. Bennet Omalu conducted by Fox Business. What he had to say was, I think fair to say, stunning.
If Doctor Omalu sounds familiar it's probably due to the movie "Concussion" that Will Smith starred in a couple of years ago. Dr. Omalu what the doctor who first brought forward the diagnosis of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). This has been at the root of the NFL concussion worries in recent years. Just last month a study of the brains of deceased NFL players showed that 99% of former NFL players had it!
CTE has been blamed for a myriad of medical maladies, commonly including severe depression and the NFL has been increasingly taking it more seriously as increased research is putting the entire league in the cross hairs of those like doctor Omalu who think the game isn't fundamentally safe. In yesterday's interview Dr. Omalu spoke specifically about the risk associated with many youth sports and he had several striking quotes. Here are a few:
“The fundamental issue is, knowing what we know today, there is no justifiable reason why a child under the age of 18 should engage in the high-impact, high-contact collision sports, the big six are football, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, rugby, boxing and wrestling."
“If your child plays any of these contact sports, there is a 100% risk exposure to brain damage and this brain damage could manifest sometimes one, two, three, four, five, ten years later, up to 40 years later.”
“We are intentionally sending children out to suffer brain damage, if that is not child abuse, what is it?”
Wow, right? Does this change your view of letting your kids play sports?