Doctor Calls Parents “Child Abusers” Who Allow Kids To Play Contact Sports
The NFL has been under heavy criticism for its role in covering up the concussion issue long before there was any controversy regarding kneeling during the National Anthem. In some ways, the kneeling, although similarly detrimental to the NFL’s bottom line, has swept the ongoing concussion issue under the proverbial rug. But rest assured, it won’t stay there long. Growing concerns over contact sports and head injuries continue to arouse heated debates online, particularly where parents tend to disagree as to whether or not a child should be allowed to play a contact sport.
Many parents feel that youth football programs have adjusted to new and safer protocols that better protect children’s brains. While other parents and medical officials continue to wage war on contact sports citing that it is near impossible to protect a brain that essentially “floats” inside the skull. In other words, padding would never serve to benefit as a protective layer because consequently, it doesn’t change the power of the hit.
And that’s just football, other sports such as wrestling, hockey and rugby have drawn similar angst among the masses. And now, such angst has been taken to an entirely new level of heated rhetoric. A doctor who recently appeared on the Today Show called parents who place their children in a number of high-risk concussion sports to be “child abusers.” You might imagine how this went over in certain mom and dad circles.
“If and when a child plays a high-impact, high-contact sports, that child receives blows to the head … sometimes more than 50 blows per game, and that child has a 100% risk of exposure to brain damage…”
“We are therefore intentionally exposing our children to the risk of brain damage. The fundamental definition of child abuse is the intentional exposure of a child to the risk of injury.”
An official list of Dr. Omalu’s child abusing sports are rugby, wrestling, mixed martial arts, ice hockey, boxing, and of course, football (American). He doesn’t mention soccer, but some studies have shown that soccer has similar risks. Omalu considers football to be the most dangerous, which comes as no surprise considering the severity and overtness of contact that comes with the sport’s strategy.
Omalu says that non-child-abusers will put their children in track and field, basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, and badminton. Is the chess club still taking signups?
Football officials, both youth and professional, assert that there are ways to counter the concussion issue and keep those human brains safer. You can see in the video below some new techniques which have been deployed to hopefully help the matter.
Additionally, many football practices have been limited to non-contact events, which cuts down on the amount of contact endured throughout a season. But how effective any of this can ever be is harshly limited by the way science determines CTE. They can only diagnose CTE on cadavers and those bodies need legal permission to be assessed. For some, this offers the counter-argument that “only the worst cases are diagnosed” which skew overall statistics.
Other professionals claim that it is near impossible to limit concussions in any sport. However, I think it is easy to see how a sport such as football could lead to a much more dense concussion situation. I’m not sure anyone, not short common sense, couldn’t determine such. However, maybe “child abuse,” as the doctor termed it, is a bit of a divisive pitch that only serves to inflame a side of parents who choose these more physical sports for a variety of reasons.
For many parents, this is a complicated decision and cornering them with harsh rhetoric may not peacefully serve the purpose of further education and the potential for safety evolution in all sports. With every sport comes a risk and that’s something all parents need to be made aware of. The full depth of how frequent CTE is for youth athletes is still relatively new science. But funding for studies continues to increase, likely to the ire of NFL executives who are now seeing less and less talent enter into their youth sports. More youth athletes are choosing soccer and baseball, which will inevitably drain the professional talent pool. And that won’t be good for the NFL’s bottom line, the one thing we are certain they care about.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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