There’s a reason the NFL and its owners have embarked on Operation Mom, to try to convince mothers the sport is safe for their kids.
And study just published underscores why they’re so worried.
A study of 1,000 people done by the Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts Lowell highlights what seems to be increasing concern about the safety of the game.
The numbers generated by the poll suggest that a majority of respondents find it reasonable to keep kids out of tackle football before high school, and shows a strong correlation between tackle football and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
In fact, 85 percent of respondents said it was either “certainly true” (31 percent) or “probably true” (54%) that there is a settled science that playing football can cause CTE.
Also of concern to the NFL should be the finding that 78 percent thought tackling should be introduced to kids at age 14 or later. Within that group, 36 percent thought it was appropriate for age 14 and up, 21 percent thought it appropriate at 18 or over, and 20 percent answered “never.”
And 94 percent of women responding to the survey thought it was inappropriate to play tackle football before age 10, and 84 percent opposed tackle football before age 14.
The study also showed that 72 percent of men and 74 percent of those identifying as sports fans opposed tackle football for children under 14.
And while 52 percent thought tackle football was safe for high school students, 16 percent thought that to be “certainly false” and 32 percent “probably false.”
The league has recognized this trend, and sponsors flag football leagues already. They’d probably be wise to try to grow that program, as more and more people are hesitant to let their children the full-contact version of the game.