To The Editor:
In response to the recent football bashing by the George Will column and the Kliethermes letter to the editor, I have a solution.
First, all of those boys and young men now participating in football should quit the sport and will not get exposed to physical activity and teamwork because not all can play soccer or basketball, and baseball gives little aerobic activity. We will just let them all play sports on Xbox.
Just run, you say, but not all boys enjoy simply running or they are not built for that. Let’s just let them find their own way. These would-be football players will not learn as kids and young adults the benefits of being active, so they will become overweight and or nonactive, and add to the epidemic of obesity, hypertension, and general bad health in this country.
This health epidemic dwarfs any risks football poses. Young habits become old habits, hence inactive when young means likely inactive as an adult.
Second, soccer ranks No. 2 in concussions for both boys and girls, so that sport should also be disallowed. Bike riding, too dangerous. Swimming? No, you might drown. Running and playing on the streets, illegal. Oh, and competitive cheer, forbidden, as its risk is near football per participant. My gosh, kids can’t even play dodge ball anymore. The list goes on and on.
I’m sure that all of my football teammates at the University of Missouri Rolla, who played in excess of 12 to 15 years of organized football and are now successful engineers, doctors, scientists and entrepreneurs, should be told that football held them back and was bad for them physically and socially.
Let’s try another solution. Let the kids and young men enjoy the enormous benefits of football (and other sports with risk), and work hard to continually make it as safe as possible and appreciate that all activities in life have risk, but in the case of football, as with other sports, the comprehensive health and social benefits far outweigh any injury risk. Millions of former youth, high school and college players will echo that sentiment.
The risk that NFL players take is an entirely different subject and entirely up to them, and has been known to them decades before now.