How Dangerous is High School Football?

Lanie W.

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        Recently three high school football players, Tom Cutinella, Demario Harris Jr. and Isaiah Langston, collapsed on the field and died in less than a week of each other. While the causes of death were different they all came from injuries sustained from football. Once again the question of the danger of football has been raised.

“It’s awful,” former NFL player Chris Valletta says when asked to remark on the incident, but he goes on to state that he still doesn’t necessarily believe that football is unsafe. “I think [the game] is safe, when it is taught correctly,” he told a fox news reporter.

            Lawyer Michael Malansky says that we have increasingly and more recently “celebrated the violence of the game.” He brought up the point that junior level players are trying to imitate what they see the pros do in games but they don’t have the same level of training and it is often resulting in injury and, in a few recent cases, death.


Jonathan Gilliam, former Navy SEAL and FBI agent, states that just as in the military, one of the main issues with this is the players don’t admit when they are hurt for fear of losing playing time.  If players acknowledge that they are hurt then the coach will pull them from the field, but with advancements in technology, soon the coach will already be able to tell.

Valletta makes a point about technology helping identify strength of hits. It will let the coach know of any potential injury, not letting the player ignore the issue. Is football worth the risk? Valletta thinks so, “The life lessons I learned on that field far outweigh the risks,” he says in response to being asked if he would let his son play when he was old enough.



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How Dangerous is High School Football?