Are Kids Playing Tackle Football Too Early?

Friday, February 2, 2018
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke
Credit: Associated Press
Above: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is seen at Heads Up Football skills clinic for youth football players from the Northeast Ohio Pop Warner Leagues while Cleveland St. Ignatius head coach Chuck Kyle talks to the players on Thursday, August 1, 2013.

Millions of Americans will tune in to watch Super Bowl LII this Sunday. It’s an unofficial holiday for the country. The football championship is believed to be an event that unifies people of different backgrounds and political persuasions.

But there is a growing fear about the safety of America’s football obsession. Research has discovered playing football can increase your risk of neurological conditions including chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

CTE has been found in the brains of not just of professional athletes but also adults who played the game as children and teenagers. The effects of CTE include memory loss, confusion, impulse control problems, aggression, depression and suicide according to researchers at Boston University.

The San Diego Union-Tribune sports reporter Tod Leonard recently wrote about two Southern California mothers whose 24-year-old and 25-year-old sons were among the youngest to be diagnosed with CTE.

Jo Cornell, of Rancho Bernardo, and Kimberly Archie, of North Hollywood, are suing Pop Warner football demanding that the organization change its rules in order to protect kids from head injury.

Leonard joined Midday Edition Friday with more on the story.