Around the Institute

Can High School Football Be Made Healthier, Safer?

November 27, 2012

At the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., a roundtable of three dozen thought leaders considered the question: How can football best serve the interests of children, communities and public health? America faces an epidemic of physical inactivity, with a need to get and keep children active in sports. Yet, concerns have grown about the health and safety risks of playing the collision sport of football. Carried live by C-SPAN, our panel of 33 doctors, researchers, athletes, administrators, journalists and football industry representatives considered the state of youth and high school football, potential reforms, and the role of professional football.


Sports & Society director and ESPN reporter Tom Farrey moderated featured conversations with Dr. Robert Cantu, co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association. Other roundtable participants included Scott Hallenbeck, executive director, USA Football; Chris Nowinski, executive director, Sports Legacy Institute; Mike WiseWashington Post columnist; Jon Butler, executive director, Pop Warner Little Scholars, Jeff Miller, senior vice president, NFL; Eddie Mason, former NFL linebacker, and Stefan Fatsis, commentator, NPR and Slate.