Is Football Child Abuse?
Knowing but allowing them to play anyway…
With the Superbowl next weekend and an article in the January 31 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, I thought today would be a good day to discuss child abuse.
Wikipedia defines child abuse as “The physical, sexual or emotional mistreatment or neglect of a child or children.” The CDC and DCF define child maltreatment as “any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm or threat of harm to a child.”
A new study on football shows permanent brain damage in teens who had never even had a concussion. Dr. Robert Cantu, chair of neurosurgery at Emerson Hospital and co-director of the Center for Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) and the the nation’s leading authority on concussions says “There’s an epidemic of kids whose normal trajectory is permanently stunted by head injury.”
My question to ponder is this. If you know now while your kid is playing football that the risk of playing the game is exceptionally high for permanent, even potentially life threatening injury to the brain, is that not child abuse or maltreatment? If I know that shooting a bow and arrow at you may have a life threatening impact when it hits you in the chest, but I do it anyway, will I not be charged with assault or murder? Should you not have to ask yourself now, “am I willing to allow my child to play a sport that is documented to cause traumatic brain injury and often permanent impairment?”
At what point does “omission” of care constitute child abuse? Why is it ok with sports but not ok with leaving a child in the car when you run into the gas station to get a candy bar? If you’ve read this, now you know. Now you are emotionally responsible for the consequences of allowing your child to play football. Now you are also empowered with an idea that could change the trajectory of your child in a more positive direction and save them debilitating pain and dysfunction.
The odds of your child playing pro football if he plays in high school are around .08%
Maybe it’s time you get him guitar lessons.