Obama made news a few days ago when the told The New Republic Magazine, “I’m a big football fan but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.” (see article: here.)
There have been a lot of stories in the news about football players starting the game as titans of the field and leaving with multiple injuries, arthritis, depression and brain trauma from concussions. But NFL players don’t start as professionals of course, they play college ball and high school games and some start team training as soon as they’re potty-trained it seems, getting injuries all along the way. So when do the injuries really start and how can the damage to our elite athletes be mitigated? Is one position more dangerous than another?
A new $100 million Harvard study in association with the NFL Players Association plans to answer these questions. It’s a pretty interesting study. They will initially study 1,000 current and retired players over a wide cross-section of positions played and then choose the healthiest 100 players and the 100 least healthy players and follow them for several years. (You can read about the study in an article from CNN here.)
It will be fascinating to learn what they discover, how their findings can be implemented to protect players’ health, and hopefully give parents peace of mind in the process.
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