During a game, football players are 16 times more likely to suffer a concussion than baseball players and four times more than male basketball players.
(For girls, the study found soccer to be the most dangerous high school sport, followed by lacrosse.) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.4 high school football players die per year due to traumatic head injuries.
But researchers have begun to worry about long-term risks from the violent blows and concussions players receive on the field.
Many questions remain unanswered, but the findings are so serious that some former players are calling for a ban on the sport.
The heightened coverage has served…This fall, the deaths of three high school football players were linked to direct head injuries on the field of play and one collegiate football player’s death has been potentially attributed to unresolved…
For many Americans, football is quintessential to the high school experience.
Sportswriters and some other players call…The cascade of woes that have befallen former NFL players has stunned fans and casual observers.
Former NFL stars Junior Seau and Dave Duerson committed suicide.
(That study has been criticized because the brains were donated by family members concerned about their deceased loved one’s health; the findings may not be representative of all football players.) Yet a longitudinal 2017 study of almost 4,000 high school football players finds no relationship between playing football and cognition or mental health later in life, when the men were 65. But protective gear today is more sophisticated (though a poorly fitting helmet can increase the severity of concussions). With a million young men actively engaged on the field, football’s risks are bound to attract attention.
Then again, some researchers have suggested that better gear could be changing how the game is played, causing players to “lead with their heads,” increasing their chances of a concussion. The peer-reviewed research cited below includes some of the latest findings.