Are Concussions Destroying Football? | STACK

Are Concussions Destroying Football?

February 4, 2014

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

Broken bones, sprained ankles and torn ACLs have long been realities in football. Rehab can be a long and painful process, but most of the time you can get back on the field and resume playing at a high level.

However, the revelation that repeated concussions can cause a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is making some people question whether football is safe for humans.

Learn more about CTE here.

Now this concern may actually be having tangible effects. In a recent poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 40 percent of the adults surveyed would encourage their children to play sports other than football.

This is the most plausible explanation for why Pop Warner saw a 9.5 percent drop in participation between 2010 and 2012. Although USA Football and Pop Warner point to no specific reason for the drop, it would be disingenuous to overlook the growing concern about the effects of concussions.

After several high-profile suicides were linked to CTE and the NFL awarded $765 million to former players to settle a lawsuit alleging that the league didn’t do enough to protect them, the NFL took action to reduce the frequency and severity of concussions. They banned head-to-head contact and now penalize tackling a defenseless receiver. If a concussion is suspected, the affected player must immediately be removed from the game, and he can’t return until he is symptom-free—a critical step for preventing future issues.


But is football inherently dangerous, or more dangerous than other sports? Probably not. Chris Nowinksi, president of the Sports Legacy Institute, has been quoted as saying, "Athletes in all sports are at risk. In fact, a study done at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that reported concussions happened nearly as often in girls high school soccer as they did in football during a two-season span.”

Any time athletes are moving at high speed and a ball (or a puck) is being thrown around, there’s bound to be contact to the head at some point, either from a legal tackle or body check or from an accidental collision.

The keys are to find ways to limit contact to the head and to educate athletes, making it clear that if they experience symptoms of a concussion, they must get off the field or ice. Fighting through a head injury is simply not worth the long-term cost. 

Sources: Wall Street Journal, ESPN


Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

How to Avoid Softball Pitching Injuries

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Wear a Mouthguard to Prevent Concussions

Can Soccer Lead to Brain Trauma?

How to Train With Shin Splints

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Concussions Are an Epidemic in Women's Sports Too

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

Can Wii Fit Help With Concussion Rehab?

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

The New Rules for Cryotherapy: Why You're Icing Wrong

Will Joel Embiid Be Able to Succeed in the NBA?

How Cristiano Ronaldo Can Defeat the Witch Doctor's Curse

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Female Athletes Need to Watch Out for Concussions, Too

Concussion FAQs

3 Ways to Protect Your Knees and Prevent ACL Injuries

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

Tommy John Surgery 10 Times More Common Than a Decade Ago

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

Can a Mouthpiece Improve Performance?

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

4 Exercises to Fix Bad Posture and Help You Move Better

Why Your Shin Splints Aren't Really Shin Splints

Learn From Brian Roberts' Self-Inflicted Concussion

How to Protect Yourself From Heat Stroke This Summer

Why a Sports Hernia Won't Ruin Jadeveon Clowney's Rookie Season

Are Concussions Destroying Football?

How a Scan May Detect Concussion-Related Brain Disease

How to Prevent Common Basketball Injuries

Axon Sports Concussion Baseline Testing Giveaway

Protect Your Brain With This Neck Workout

Does Loss of Sleep Have Same Effects as Sports Head Injuries?

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Should Pitchers Ice After Throwing to Prevent Shoulder Injuries?

Maintaining Your Lower-Body Strength After Tommy John Surgery

Reducing Concussion Risk in Youth Athletes

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

Four Simple Tips to Understand and Prevent Concussions

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

2 Game-Changing Protective Football Gear Products

Study Finds Link Between Head Trauma and Brain Disease

Play It Safe With the 5 Pillars of Heads Up Football

3 Reasons to Correct Your Weak Links to Prevent Common Injuries

Should Women Lacrosse Players Wear Helmets?

STACK Concussion Awareness and Prevention Series

Protect Yourself With Battle Sports Science Gear

Concussion Awareness Takes the Stage in Congress