Does Football Have Serious Health and Safety Concerns to Address?

Millions of Americans will sit down today to watch special NFL Thanksgiving day games. The safety of the players may not be at the top of their minds, but should it be? At a recent roundtable discussion we looked at the problem of concussions and other safety concerns in football at all levels, from Pee Wee to professional. We spoke with NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith about his concerns and the role of the NFL in setting an example for younger players and fans:

Loading the player...

Other featured speakers at the discussion, which Aspen Institute Sports & Society director and ESPN reporter Tom Farrey moderated, included Dr. Robert Cantu, co-director of Boston University's Center for the Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy; Scott Hallenbeck, executive director, USA Football; Chris Nowinski, executive director, Sports Legacy Institute; Mike Wise, Washington Post columnist; Jon Butler, executive director, Pop Warner Little Scholars; Jeff Miller, senior vice president, NFL; and Eddie Mason, former NFL linebacker. 

You can watch the entire discussion on C-SPAN or read recaps from Stefan Fatsis at Slate or Mike Wise in The Washington Post.

Filed in Blog Topics:  Sports & Society, football



We predict emerging sports brain injury (SBI) mitigation technologies such as Battle's chinstrap, x2 Impact, HITS and emerging "head mass" acceleration sensor systems will lead to SBI mitigation in general and especially secondary impact syndrome events. These new technologies will also result in new issues. Return to play decisions will become even more difficult and numerous when no "big hit" was seen, the player says, "I'M OK!" but the device says 130g's. "False Positives". And there will be new ethics questions. Will we want TV newscasters (and screen graphics) reporting, "Wow, that was a 130g hit on the meter, and that is the third one today over a 120."?

Don B. Hennig, Bio-Applications LLC, Portland OR


See previous Head Mass Accelerometers


I fail to understand what you are trying to accomplish . Why in the world would you want to try and destroy the game of football. Iam watching you people on c-span and am amased at all the people you have commenting that do not look like they have ever played any sport at all in there lives , especially football. My family is 4th generation football players and i am more than pissed off at your attempt to destroy the greatest game there is. Mind your on damn business.