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Half of Americans Don’t Want Their Sons Playing Football, Poll Shows


Half of Americans Don’t Want Their Sons Playing Football, Poll Shows

Dec 10, 2014 7:00 AM EST
Women and elites in particular want to keep their boys off the gridiron.

Annie Linskey

Television ratings are up and merchandise sales arebooming, but longer-term trends don’t look as rosy for football. According to a new Bloomberg Politics poll, 50 percent of Americans say they wouldn’t want their son to play the sport and only 17 percent believe it’ll grow in popularity in the next 20 years.

These are grim numbers for a sport that’s seeing an onslaught of negative attention, including a parade of National Football League players accused of abusing their wives or children; a team name so offensive that some news organizations refuse to print it; and, perhaps most troubling to parents, the growing body of evidence that repeated blows to the head can cause long-lasting brain damage. The sport’s troubles have caught the attention of Congress, whose members hauled a league official to Washington for a Senate hearing earlier this month. Individual lawmakers have proposed ending the league’s tax-exempt statusand putting its coveted anti-trust exception up for a five year review.

The finding suggest that, over the course of time, football could go the way of boxing, a marquee American sport in the early part of the 20th century that declined amid a similar set of dynamics: changing perceptions of its brutality and star athletes making headlines for violent crimes.

5 thoughts on “Half of Americans Don’t Want Their Sons Playing Football, Poll Shows

  1. Views on ( football ) will adjust now, especially at the HS and pop warner level. And I predict that the sport will disappear at those levels. not because it’s a “health reason” but, the costs of running those programs. Such as,
    Uniforms for four levels of teams, many coaches, medical personnel, travel costs, and many, many, others. BOE with be challenged to and take the route of “dropping” those expensive sports.
    Physical Educators will support my view I’m sure. Ego parents might not. What do you think?

  2. Dom you are partially correct but I think the remedy will be parental financial contribution in all sports like the parents do now, in ice hockey.

  3. I would like to see lacrosse moved to the fall so that the ex-footballers can doing something in the fall … this would mean the lacrosse players could then go back to baseball or track.

    Makes sense ?

  4. Dom, close but the real cost will be INSURANCE. Within a few years it will cost several hundred thousand dollars to insure a HS football program. What towns are really going to be able to justify those types of insurance premiums for 8-10 football games a year?

    No parent fundraising is going to be able to cover the costs of the insurance and the liabilities taken on by municipalities that allow HS football.

  5. #3. All the leagues would need to switch. If R’wood moved to fall who would we play?

    Boxing and football are off my list. Lacrosse isn’t that great. Take a look at some of the old coaches, not something my kid aspires to become.

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