Concussions’ effects on football popularity


Ian WIlger

George Venzke hits Iowa City’s QB by leading with his shoulder instead of spearing with his helmet.

Will Sharis, Photo Manager

In recent years, athletes are hesitant to join or continue to play football because of concussions even with the new rules and regulations made to protect players from head trauma.

With the lastest massive helmet-to-helmet hits that occurred during week 4 of the National Football League(NFL), the dangers of concussions resurfaced. The disease from concussions,  chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), was especially looked into in the aftermath of the week. The danger of concussions is still prevalent even with the new protocols and equipment produced with updated guidelines.

Potential new players are hesitant to join the sport because of the dangers. Sophomore Tristain Wakefield, a student who has thought about joining the football team, said, “I would definitely be playing right now if it was not for the potential for concussions.”

High Schools have noticed this trend of hesitancy from students and have attempted to put in rules on and off the field to protect the players. Pleasant Valley has put in concussion protocols on the field along with the new penalties discouraging the use of leading with the helmet on tackles. 

The school has also put in rules for concussions in general. One new rule states that if an athlete has more than 3 concussions, they have to stop their sport. They also released a concussion form to be signed by parents of athletes, so they can report if their child has a potential concussion from their sport. Often this happens if their trainer does not diagnosis it or the athlete themselves does not report it.

Even with all of the changes in football to avoid concussions, it still impacts the players. Former football parent Ann Stoffel said, “It was always in the back of my kid’s head that something could happen to him or his teammates any time during the game.”

This thought seems to not only be in the players’ heads, but also the parents’. According to a national poll, less than 20 percent of parents would consider allowing their child to play tackle football. This coincides with Wakefield’s mom. He said, “My mother definitely does not want to play because of the potential injuries that come from playing.” 

With so many parents and student-athletes weighing the potential dangers and choosing to choose the safer option, concussions are killing football on and off the field.