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US- 'Concussion' Doctor: Letting Kids Play Football is 'Definition of Child Abuse'

Lubricus

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Mar 21, 2014
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Published August 8 in Sports Illustrated. This is concerning American football. If I had a younger child , I do not think I would let them get involved with football.

The doctor credited with discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) likens children playing football to abuse and says there is nothing anyone can do to make the game safer.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose life was dramatized in the movie "Concussion" starring Will Smith, says the recent study from Boston confirms what can happen with repeated blows to the head.

The study published in the The Journal of the American Medical Association found that 110 of 111 former NFL players who had their brains donated for examination suffered from CTE.

Omalu, whose memoir “Truth Doesn’t Have a Side” will be released on Tuesday, also believes no person under 18 should be playing football.

“Someday there will be a district attorney who will prosecute for child abuse [on the football field], and it will succeed,” Omalu said during a New York Press Club talk. “It is the definition of child abuse.”

“If you play football, and if your child plays football, there is a 100 percent risk exposure. There is nothing like making football safer. That’s a misnomer.”

https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/08/08/bennet-omalu-cte-football

From another article that linked to this article:

Common symptoms of CTE include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression and eventually progressive dementia.

It’s not just pros that face risk. The study said 21 percent of high school players and 90 percent of college players tested suffer from CTE...

With football, you could change some of the rules to make it something no one would pay to watch.

Youth leagues could forgo tackle football.
Teen and adult leagues could outlaw the most punishing types of tackling.
Football could eliminate kickoffs, where players run the full length of the field at full speed just to smash into someone running full speed in the opposite direction.
Those ideas won’t make football more exciting, but they would make it safer.

It would also make it less profitable...

The National Football League, the richest sports organization in the U.S., rakes in about $14 billion a year in revenue.

The “non-profit” NCAA, which regulates college sports, pulls down only $1 billion per year but doesn’t have to pay the players absorbing the abuse.

At the University of Georgia in 2016, football revenue outpaced expenses $87 million to $39 million. Profit from football subsidizes almost every other sports program.

Can education exist without athletics? Should a sport be abandoned, or fundamentally changed, because it’s dangerous?

http://newstome.blog.ajc.com/2017/08/09/youth-football-called-child-abuse/
 

Yaboosh

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Mar 18, 2010
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to be honest there's alot of sports you don't want your kids to do now.

Girls soccer/basketball (men's soccer/bball don't nearly have the concussion rates of their female counterparts)/wrestling/lacrosse.


Wait, I'm suspicious of your claim that women's basketball and soccer has a much higher incidence of concussions than men's.
 

PadWarrior

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Nov 14, 2011
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No way will I let my son play football. Risk is not worth it.

In fact I may even stop watching.
 

FutureLarking

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to be honest there's alot of sports you don't want your kids to do now.

Girls soccer/basketball (men's soccer/bball don't nearly have the concussion rates of their female counterparts)/wrestling/lacrosse.

What are these female players doing to raise the risks so much? Avoiding heading too many hard balls and you should be largely okay in football/soccer unless you're just running head first into each other for lord knows what reason.

Watched the Women's world cup and it didn't seem like an extra violent version of the men's.

(Interesting there's no consensus medically as to why this is the case for women yet. Biological or rougher play styles?)
 
Jan 25, 2014
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Ya, getting rid of helmets would probably go some way in lessening how the players use their heads as tackling instruments (which is still insane to me).

It'll never happen, but would be an interesting experiment.
 

Messofanego

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I'd be interested in how the statistics compares to rugby. I'm unfamiliar with NFL, is the helmets and the heads banging around in them is what causes the concussions? Cause surely players are hitting each other as hard in rugby, but not having as much concussions? Or am I wrong on rugby being less dangerous?
 

ZOONAMI

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The helmets and pads need to go. Leads to way too hard of hits. If you essentially just had passing rugby it would be much safer. I guess might make the game a bit more boring but that's alright for safety.
 

Draxal

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What are these female players doing to raise the risks so much? Avoiding heading too many hard balls and you should be largely okay in football/soccer unless you're just running head first into each other for lord knows what reason.

Watched the Women's world cup and it didn't seem like an extra violent version of the men's

Honestly, they don't know.

To be honest, I think in this case the football concussion's undereported.

I'd be interested in how the statistics compares to rugby. I'm unfamiliar with NFL, is the helmets and the heads banging around in them is what causes the concussions? Cause surely players are hitting each other as hard in rugby, but not having as much concussions? Or am I wrong on rugby being less dangerous?

It will probably be the same to be honest, rugby's not that popular in the states so there are no studies on it (CTE studies are dominated by american universities); but once they broaden the studies to other sports it will be pretty ugly.
 

benicillin

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It's really awful and terrible that so many parents and schools and sports teams look the other way on this. Problem needs to seriously be addressed.
 

sankt-Antonio

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I'd be interested in how the statistics compares to rugby. I'm unfamiliar with NFL, is the helmets and the heads banging around in them is what causes the concussions? Cause surely players are hitting each other as hard in rugby, but not having as much concussions? Or am I wrong on rugby being less dangerous?
I think pros would actually die if they played rugby the way they play American football.
 

ZOONAMI

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Nov 4, 2013
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I'd be interested in how the statistics compares to rugby. I'm unfamiliar with NFL, is the helmets and the heads banging around in them is what causes the concussions? Cause surely players are hitting each other as hard in rugby, but not having as much concussions? Or am I wrong on rugby being less dangerous?

It's not just the helmets, but the pads too. All that armor essentially means dudes be running into each other as fast and as hard as possible, and using their heads to hit. So then you get a lot of concussions and brain trauma.
 

Yaboosh

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Mar 18, 2010
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Honestly, they don't know.

To be honest, I think in this case the football concussion's undereported.


Part of that study synopsis you posted said that they were using concussions as a proportion of total injuries, which makes possible sense for women's soccer and basketball to be higher than men's. But they also said the rate of concussions is three times higher in women's soccer than men's which just seems nuts to me.
 

QuantumZebra

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He's not wrong.

This.

My daughters love football and want to play it but id never let that happen. I explained to them that it hurts their brains (4 and 5 y/o) but they don't understand why adults play it. I just explained it like I did beer or cigarettes (it's an adult choice you can make when you grow up and finish school).
 

FutureLarking

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I'd be interested in how the statistics compares to rugby. I'm unfamiliar with NFL, is the helmets and the heads banging around in them is what causes the concussions? Cause surely players are hitting each other as hard in rugby, but not having as much concussions? Or am I wrong on rugby being less dangerous?

Rugby players tend not to use their heads as weapons. The armour in American Football helps encourage a more wreckless play style, but I don't see how anyone can think attacking with your head is a sane idea even with a helmet.
 

Ninja Scooter

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I wouldn't be surprised if Rugby isn't all that much safer. It's not the spearing/highlight reel hits in footballthat are the biggest concerns with regards to CTE, it's the continuous accumulation of collisions, the shit that happens in the trenches most often that nobody even cares about, that is probably the most dangerous. Humans crashing into other humans over and over is just not good for the brain/body, and there likely isn't any way to ever change that.
 

Matrix XII

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This isn't surprising unfortunately.

My wife and I have already discussed encouraging our future kids to participate in non contact sports, such as golf.
 

sturmdogg

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Eating food causes cancer.
Staying outdoors causes cancer.
Staying indoors causes obesity and social awkwardness.
STDs can be transmitted even without having sex.
And now this.

So basically....no fun allowed?
 

Mathieran

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Feb 25, 2015
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I hope my son is not interested in football when he gets older, cause I'd hate to be the one to stop him, but I will. There's so many other things to do that are equally fun and less dangerous.
 

old manatee

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Football is fucked up to the core. There needs to be fundamental changes to the rules of the game and the way the industry operates. Kids get horrible injuries that stick with them for the rest of their lives, and the ones who don't get exploited playing college football. So many broke ass towns pissing their money away buying ridiculous stadiums. NFL players getting full blown CTE. It's just bad. I wish everyone would get obsessed with Ping Pong or something and it could just go back to being about people knocking a stupid ball about.
 

SpaceWolf

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Oh yeah, we don't want our kids getting hurt playing football! But I think I have a way to make it even better! Why don't we have the players just wear bras? Yeah, the players should all wear bras! And instead of helmets, they should wear little tinfoil hats, 'cause, you know, it's the future and we shouldn't be so barbaric!
 

Messofanego

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Rugby players tend not to use their heads as weapons. The armour in American Football helps encourage a more wreckless play style, but I don't see how anyone can think attacking with your head is a sane idea even with a helmet.
Oh yeah, the pads and helmets probably act as an illusion of safety, so people crash into each other more than in rugby.
 

wenis

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Aug 22, 2007
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This will certainly rile up all the football fans in my family. Posted to Facebook wall and now to wait 🌝
 

Yaboosh

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Mar 18, 2010
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People are talking like rugby doesn't have a serious concussion problem. That seems like a bad assumption.
 
Nov 8, 2015
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This isn't surprising unfortunately.

My wife and I have already discussed encouraging our future kids to participate in non contact sports, such as golf.

No need to limit the kid to only non-contact sports. Limited-contact sports are pretty safe as well.

Edit: Also why handball and water polo are considered contact sports is beyond me.
 

Oppo

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pretty sure this is going to bleed over into hockey, which will... have a pronounced effect, in Canada.

pronounced.
 

Aurongel

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Sep 27, 2011
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Eating food causes cancer.
Staying outdoors causes cancer.
Staying indoors causes obesity and social awkwardness.
STDs can be transmitted even without having sex.
And now this.

So basically....no fun allowed?
"No critical thinking allowed" is how I'd sum up this post.
 

shira

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Apr 6, 2011
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The helmets and pads need to go. Leads to way too hard of hits. If you essentially just had passing rugby it would be much safer. I guess might make the game a bit more boring but that's alright for safety.
What exactly do you think the helmets do?
 

Draxal

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People are talking like rugby doesn't have a serious concussion problem. That seems like a bad assumption.

Ayup, its basically like saying the NFL didn't have a concussion problem in the 1980s, because none of these studies existed.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/...e-update-confirmed-link-between-rugby-and-cte

I think on current evidence coming from American studies, from looking at American football, our historical evidence looking at boxers throughout the world, I think it would be foolish to think there will be no problem and that rugby is immune from brain damage.
 

Dalek

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Mar 5, 2014
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I understand why an individual would want to play-but as a parent I can't imagine ever encouraging your child to play. The risks are too severe.
 

Sunster

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Aug 28, 2015
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Baseball, basketball and ESPORTs will likely see growth as collision and brain injury sports decline is my guess.

Yea I made the switch from football watching to baseball watching earlier this year.