Albuquerque attorney Kathleen “Kathy” Love shares a love of sports with her husband and son, Xavier. The three love watching all sports, but the house rule is that Xavier will never play football because of the risk of head injury. Kathy Love’s concern is well-founded. In the fall 2015 season, 11 high school students died playing football.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that tackle football increased the likelihood of concussions and catastrophic injuries, and that eliminating tackling from the sport would reduce the incidence of these injuries. Instead of recommending the elimination of tackling, however, the AAP suggested an increase in adult supervision, instruction in proper tackling procedures, and neck strengthening exercises. These recommendations were made despite the fact that no systematic evidence shows that safer tackling techniques reduce the incidence of concussions. Tackle football has become the norm for high school teams, but many feel the risk of head injury is too great to expose young people.