American football is not popular among American students: too dangerous

American football is not popular among American students: too dangerous

Beginning of the American Football Season: Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs.BuildGetty Images

The number of high school students playing the nation's most-watched sport has shrunk for the fifth year in a row, to barely more than 1 million players. In this century, according to a recent study by the American High School Association, never before have so many boys played football. Schools are forced to introduce alternative forms of football, with teams made up of six or eight players instead of the stipulated eleven.

Fear of brain damage and bone fractures is seen as the main reason for low interest among students. Research conducted on deceased players from the professional league NFL has shown that many football players develop the progressive brain disease CTE due to the numerous hard blows they sustain to the brain. According to Boston University in 2017, 110 out of 111 players studied had this fatal condition.

This knowledge changed the sport forever, former Dutch player Harald Hasselbach told De Volkskrant newspaper last year. In 1998 and 1999, he was the first Dutchman to win the Super Bowl, the most important award in sports, with the Denver Broncos. He also suffered from memory loss and concentration problems due to the concussions he suffered as a defensive player. He lives in 'extra time,' he said: extra time. Hasselbach: The average life expectancy of a person who played in my position is 50 years. I turned 50 in September.

Hasselbach also noted last year that interest in his sport was declining in high schools. He works as a high school coach. “Boys who should play football because of their physical qualities don’t,” he said. During training, he had to deal with increasingly anxious parents who prevented their children from playing football. Former President Barack Obama also warned of the dangers of brain damage. He said several years ago that he would not have allowed his children to play American football if he had had children.

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Despite concerns about health harms, American football remains the largest teen sport with 1 million high school participants, ahead of track and field (600,000), basketball (540,000), baseball (480,000), and soccer (480,000). 460 thousand). . Athletics is considered the most popular sport among girls (half a million), ahead of volleyball (450,000), basketball and football (both about 400,000).

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