New study finds almost 4 in 5 people oppose kids under 14 playing tackle football

A new study is revealing that most Americans are concerned about brain injuries when it comes to participating in sports while also being opposed to children under the age of 14 playing tackle football.

The UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion conducted a national poll of 1,000 adults about sports and concussions. According to their results, 94 percent believe concussions and head injuries resulting from sports is public health issue. In addition, 85 percent said they believe playing football can cause Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that has been found in athletes that have had a history of concussion and brain trauma.

When it comes to playing football, only 21 percent of those surveyed thought it was okay for children to play tackle football before they are 14 years old. Among women, 84 percent were against participating before age 14 and 94 percent were opposed to it before age 10.

“The poll also confirms that the public believes that one of the greatest threats to athletes is at the youth level,” said associate professor Jeffrey Gerson, a UMass Lowell political science faculty member who worked on the poll, in a news release. “The public’s negative view of tackle football for children under 14 and heading a soccer ball in youth soccer may lead to further changes in these sports that can have a ripple effect on sports for older children, especially at the high school level.”

To learn more about the survey’s finding, go to https://www.uml.edu/Research/public-opinion/polls/default.aspx

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