Football has allowed kids all around the country to compete and strive to make it a career. However, football is the most physical sport in America so concussions are common and young kids can tackle as soon as age five. This causes unnecessary shaking of the brain at a non-developed skull for kids this young.
Football can bring wealth and a career for people who are less fortunate, but risk injuries during that process. Although some parents believe that their children should start a sport as early as they can, twelve years old is a perfect age to play football and because their brains are somewhat developed, they are better equipped to make their own decisions, and it allows them to leave bad situations.
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First, young children at five years old can play tackle football around the United States. This is absurd as they are too young for hard hit contact to the head or the body. Children who play football during the season and after can receive radiological and neurocognitive effects which can cause brain damage.
Even if there is no concussion taken to the head during the season it can still cause these effects. If, these children continue to play seasons upon seasons then this can cause what people know by CTE. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a disease experienced by football player who have played for their whole life (Omalu). All these brain injuries is not ideal for a young child who do not even have their whole head developed.
Teenagers are old enough to make decisions if they can play tackle football. Teenage years are all about the choices they make and what sport is the right fit. Teenagers can decide on their own the positives and negatives of competing in tackle football. The consequences may outweigh positives, but they must understand the “risk and rewards” (Hyman). Some may argue that it is ultimately a parent’s decision but this hinders the child’s ability to make their own choices in life.
Youth athletes are playing football just to make their parents happy but if they do not start out playing football at such a young age, then they can make their own decision when they are twelve. This gives them the opportunity to using common sense and if they want to continue with football. Five year olds are too young to make big decisions that will affect your whole life so teenagers are a perfect age to determine the ups and downs about football.
Working class parents in the United States struggle to send their kids to private High Schools and colleges. One way for teenagers to go to private schools is to be recruited by them for football. Those who risk it all by playing football and put in hard work will get the education they deserve.
Samaha explains, “Yes, football is dangerous, but so is leaving one’s future in the hands of an unequal educational system. It’s no wonder the sport still feels like a winning ticket.” The winning ticket is a college athletic scholarship that will hopefully advance to an NFL career. If kids could not play football until they are 18 years old, they would not have the necessary training needed for college ball. Nonetheless, tackle football should be restricted until a kid is twelve years old since this opportunity can impact their whole life.
Football is one of three most popular and competitive sports in The United States. Recent data has shown that fewer kids are playing football. This shows that people are understand the negative effects of football has to your brain and your whole life. If children did not play tackle football until they were twelve years old then the effects would not be as bad as they have been in the past. As an alternate, flag football should be more common for kids who do not want to risk the hard contact sport of tackle football. It keeps kids humble to themselves and learn life skills that they can use in the modern world.
- Hyman, Mark. “Why Kids Under 14 Should Not Play Tackle Football.” Time, Time, 6 Nov. 2012, Web.
- Omalu, Bennet. “Don’t Let Kids Play Football.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 7 Dec. 2015, Web.
- Samaha, Albert. “The Kids Who Still Need Football.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Sept. 2018, Web.