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Sometimes even sports can’t escape the tragedies of the real world.
If you’ve been following NFL football for a long time, the last few years have probably been a real eye-opener when it comes to the dangers of helmet-to-helmet hits. If you’ve been following Stanford football for a long time, that eye-opener came 11 years ago.
If there is one thing you can always count on, it’s the innate ability of human beings to do stupid things. When football is involved, go ahead and take that stupidity to the next level.
I’m not calling for a ban of contact sports, because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Sports, as I’ve stressed time and time again, play an enormous role in my life and in the lives of millions of people. What I am asking for however is that we invest as much time reforming the contact sports culture as we do watching athletes writhing in pain. Get rid of the “if you can walk, you can play” mentality, and lecture players from an early age on the dangers of head trauma. Big hits look cool—until they turn into aggravated assaults.
Quite simply, the human brain cannot handle the continuous high impact that football entails. And while helmets properly support the head and prevent injuries like skull fractures, they do not protect the interior of the head at all.