Early retirement of 49ers Borland spurs discussion of youth football safety

By on March 21, 2015


http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/healthy-choices/article15499391.htmlIn a recent, yet shocking moment Chris Borland has stepped away from the NFL.  I think we all need to continue to look at both sides of the youth football argument, especially if retirement  starts to become a trend.  Barry Sanders walked away from the game, in his prime which was not concussion related so we need to look at each case on it’s own.

Parents of youth football players are crossing their fingers and strapping on their kids helmets a little tighter after this weeks abrupt retirement of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland due to concerns about long-term brain injury. Borland, 24, cut short a promising NFL career after just one season as a professional, citing worries about the long-term cognitive effects of concussions. His pre-emptive decision unprecedented among players with his potential renewed conversations about football safety and what precautions are sufficient for young people to keep playing the nations most popular sport.
Parents of youth football players discuss safety after abrupt retirement of 49ers linebacker. Some studies link repeated head blows to mental disability and mood disorders later. Coaches and parents say youth football culture emphasizes caution more than before.

“In football, we’re reporting and being proactive, and it’s thanks to learning through the NFL,” said Mary Kay Hoal, president of the Davis Blue Devil Football Backers, a fan and parent club supporting the Davis Senior High School team. “It’s about learning the right drills you’re supposed to do, and not having the kids bang into each other consistently.”

The goal is to reduce the number of hard blows to the head, which can rattle the brain against the skull to the point of swelling and cell damage. Concussions also result from violent bodily motions such as neck whipping.

Football continues to draw the most high school male athletes in California, with participation increasing slightly between 2013 and 2014, according to CIF data.

“The head injury issue, from a layman’s perspective, is you can only take so many before they start affecting you, so why start accruing those early?” Costello said. “Football’s not a contact sport. It’s a collision sport.” read the rest of the post….

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