Is football too dangerous?

By: Alexa Poplawski

There is a kid named Jimmy. He really wants to play professional football, so he goes to football camp for the summer. While he was at camp he was tackled by another player and he blacked out! After he was rushed to the hospital, he found out that he as a severe concussion. Jimmy has to rest in a dark, quiet room for 4 weeks! Engaging in football negatively affects the physical and mental health of athletes.

Over the past two decades, it has become clear that repetitive blows to the head in high impact sports like football, ice hockey, mixed martial arts and boxing place athletes at risk of permanent brain damage. This means that so many sports are dangerous to the brain and can cause the damage to be permanent. In "Don't Let Kids Play", Dr. Omalu states that "If a child who plays football is subjected to advanced radiological and neurocognitive studies during the season and several months after the season, there can be evidence of brain damage at the cellular level of brain function, even if there were no documented concussions or reported symptoms." This is saying that if a child who plays football is having studies done on their brain, you will see a lot of brain damage. Just imagine, you hurting your brain bad enough not to do your favorite things. No more biking, running, football, any sport! Isn't that sad? "If that child continues to play over many seasons, the cellular injuries accumulate to cause irreversible brain damage, which we know now by the name chronic traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, A disease that I first diagnosed in 2002. Depending on the severity of the condition, the child now has a risk of manifesting symptoms of CTE like major depression, memory loss, suicidal thoughts and actions, loss of intelligence as well as dementia later in life." (Omalu) Would you want your child to die from CTE? I think not. Would you want them to have bad symptoms? No! So don't let them play high impact sports like football!

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I think that we should put a stop to brain damage. It is hurting so many kids today. Our brain is very fragile and it can't keep up with this anymore. We have the power to stop this so let's start now! Furthermore, "football related activities sent an average of roughly 25,400 kids under the age of 19 to the emergency room every year for brain injuries, according to data released by the Center for disease control and prevention in 2011." (New York Times) Do you really want kids and teenagers to get hurt at something we can stop from happening? Football players of all ages suffered permanent damage from repeated concussions. "13 year old Isaiah Kahut dreamed to play football in high school and college. But on his second day of camp, his plans came crashing down around him. He was running with the ball when he suddenly got tackled. His head smacked her hard. The moment he got up he knew something wasn't right. He said I could see and hear, he remembers, but I couldn't comprehend what was going on around me. Headaches and nausea soon set in. His parents rest him to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a severe concussion- A brain injury resulting from a blow to the head." (Jennifer Shotz) Just imagine if he didn't play football he would of never had to go through the pain he was feeling. He even chose not to play football after it happened.

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However, some people think that football helps athletes boost self esteem and helps them become more active. Even though they become more active and have higher self esteem it does have drawbacks. You can hurt yourself bad enough to die or even get a severe case called CTE! By having CTE you can be depressed which lowers your self esteem. Also you can't get physically active after that!

Participating in football damages the physical and mental health of athletes. Football has become such a popular sport that nobody pays attention to the dangers of it. Every player is at risk every time they get tackled. Their head slams the ground so hard that they can get CTE, a concussion, or even die! One day maybe even one of your favorite players will get CTE or a concussion. They might be out for the season or even forever. Maybe the football team will start to loose games and you will be mad that they lost the football player that got hurt. Do you want your favorite player getting injured. Let's protect football players all around the world!

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