SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — While football remains one of the most popular sports in the U.S, New York legislators began hearings this morning on the negative effects of youth football.
The New York State Assembly Health Committee heard from coaches, players and medical specialists on the impacts that tackle football has on young kids, specifically on the brain.
Recently, the Boston University School of Medicine found that the longer someone plays tackle football, the more likely they are to experience the effects of brain injuries. They also found that 223 out of 266 football players who took part in the study had some form of Chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.
“We don’t even fully know what happens to kids’ brains when they play tackle football,” Philosophy of Sports Professor Ben Bradley said.
Bradley works at Syracuse University and has spent time looking at the effects of tackle football. He notes that while the sport allows kids to feel a sense of “risk factor” there are other ways to achieve the same thing.
“The question is just whether you can get those benefits from something that doesn’t destroy their brains,” Bradley said.
In recent years other sports, such as youth hockey, has banned certain physical hits or checking before a particular age in order to scale back the level of physicality.
During the hearing, opponents of the possible ban argued that each year football organizations find ways to make the sport even safer.
While no official proposal has been set forth, the conversation will continue to have hearings into next year.