American Sport: Cheerleading And American Football

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American football is one of the most watched sporting events in the USA, But lately there has been a debate rather or not football is dangerous and should it be banned for certain ages or no tackle football whatsoever. Football is dangerous, but less dangerous than other sports such as gymnastics, boxing, and soccer, because football takes a lot of precautions such as, concussion protocol this is a way to make sure a player does not have a concussion. There is a good argument behind why it should be banned but I believe that I have gathered enough research to dispute it.

August 20, 1920 americain football was created with limited equipment you can look back at the pictures and see how they barely wore pads and the rules were way less strict being that it was the beginning of the sport everything was new and fresh. As time went on more and more pads had to be worn and more rules were enforced to make the game safer. I honestly believe that the game of football is becoming safer by the years eventually it will be the safest it can be.

What is CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) According to the Boston University CTE Center, “CTE is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma”. The important thing to note is that not everyone develops CTE from hits to the stated on concussion it depends on Age of first exposure to head impacts, and Length of exposure to head impacts. The reason why I present to you what CTE is because that is the mainstream issue concerning the NFL. There have been cases of CTE popping up in the NFL at a moderate rate. The fact that CTE is so mainstream it hurts the argument on football becoming a safer game. People who are uneducated on what CTE is believed that if you receive a concussion you automatically have CTE this is outright false.

My first example that I found while doing research is boxing. Boxing is listed as the most dangerous sport in the United States Of America according to Dr. Chris Mueller Boxing is the most dangerous sport in the world. Boxing really has no protection of any body parts so it is very easy to receive an injury. Boxing is a sport that it is all about violence. The main objective is to beat the next person up until they can’t hit anymore. As for football, the objective is to stop the other team from winning at all costs, the difference between the two is that football has pads to protect the brain from straight on blows to the head. Also in football your goal is not to knock the other person out. If critics are looking to ban tackle football then boxing should be banned as a whole. Dr. Chris Mueller stated “Most boxers leave the sport with some kind of lasting injury whether it’s vision problems, coordination problems, speech impediments or even brain damage (Mueller 2011).” This is living proof that boxing is more dangerous than football.

Another sport that is far more dangerous than football is bull riding. Bull riding is a rodeo sport that includes a rider on the back of a raging bull and trying to remain mounted while the bull attempts to dismantle the rider off its back. American bull riding has been designated ‘the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.’ To get a score, the rider must remain on the bull for eight seconds with one hand grasped on a bull rope tied behind the bull’s forelegs. According to Fox sports writer Melanie Dinjaski “Pro bull riders are required to wear a padded vest and leather chaps. Some riders choose to wear a cowboy hat, while others go for a helmet (Dinjaski 2015)”. It is not required for the bull riders to wear helmets this is out right dangerous. One fall could have you paralized, a concussion,and etc. It should be mandatory that they wear helmets the same way it is manda tory that football players wear helmets.

The last and final sport that I will use is cheerleading this caught me by surprise because I didn’t even know that cheerleading is a sport. According to The definition of a sport is an activity involving physical exertion and often in a competitive nature. So technically cheerleading is a sport, but how is it dangerous? Cheer is dangerous because the amount of high risk injuries. Dr. Hans Olsen an orthopaedic surgeon at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center stated that “Parents may remember what cheerleading was like when they were in high school, where cheerleaders merely rooted for a team. But with the introduction of competitive cheerleading, the sport has gone from a sideline activity to an intense sport in its own right (Olsen 2018)” the injuries that theses cheerleaders get include knee injuries, head/concussions and wrist injuries.

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In an article that I read titled three simple fixes that can save football one of the main fixes they proposed was the demand of better helmets. I totally agree with this having a helmet that will protect you against most hits would make the game a whole lot safer. According to an article that was published by CNBC ”which makes helmets that it says reduce the severity of head impacts. The Vicis Zero1 helmet’s outer shell acts like a car bumper because it flexes on impact and immediately bounces back ( Petrova 2018)”. The NFL has contacted this company with hopes of them making helmets for all players to ensure the safety of the players.

As I mentioned before football has become a safer sport, not just by making helmets safer but also changing rules to help ensure players are protected. According to Marvin Washington a former NFL player, “there have been a total of 39 rule changes to enhance player safety. Some of the rules that have been incorporated include, kickoffs were moved back to the 35 yard line rather than being on the 30 yard line this was changed to increase the amount of touchbacks and also to limit the amount of dangerous kick returns (Washington 2016)”. It has been long debated if football should take away kickoffs and kickoff returns as a whole, the reason being is that studies show that the intensity of injuries are increased on kickoffs. This despite kickoffs making up only a small percentage of total plays in a football game.

Another rule change that has been implemented is “blind side blocking” blind siding someone is when you hit a defenseless player when they do not see that it is coming. According to USA Today, language in a video posted to the Twitter account of the NFL Football Operations staff, a blindside block “is a foul if a player initiates a block in which he is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and makes forcible contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm, or shoulder.”Many die hard football fans believe this takes away some excitement from the game. Although this might be true it ensure that players are protected (Reyes 2019)”.

Although those are only 2 of the 39 rule changes, those seem to be the biggest most impactful ones. With the steps the NFL have taken to make the game safer it looks like their may be hope in saving the game of football as a whole.

As I was doing research on this particular topic A question arose in my brain. Why do people honestly believe football is dangerous? And why do they believe it should be banned? I did a little digging and came across a website called this website is used for for people to debate about certain topics. I looked at why should football be banned and these are the responses some people left. “ Football causes many concussions which can lead to CTE, Which alters a person’s brain and personality so they become completely unlike themselves. The body is NOT designed to support any sort of head-on collision like that, Especially not ones as powerful as the ones that happen within football. Big yikes (Unanimous 2019)”. This plays right into my argument that if football is becoming more safe with such rules that protect players how is it dangerous? People only look at mainstream details rather than looking at the facts that are right in front of their faces.

With the amount of information that I have gathered, I believe that it is safe to say that the game of football is not as dangerous as it used to be. Rather it be new rules that have been implemented or new helmet guide lines football is becoming safer by the years. As for other sports are more dangerous but do not get as much media coverage therefore people are forced to believe football is the most dangerous sport which is totally false.

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