Are (Your Kids) Ready for Some Football?
A recent poll conducted by researchers at the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion suggests that most American adults – 53 percent of those surveyed – think tackle football is unsafe for kids under 14. Just 41 percent of adults think youth football is safe. When it comes to high school football, however, 57 percent believe it’s a safe activity.
When asked at what age tackling should be introduced on the football field, 30 percent said between ages 14 and 17; 12 percent said 18; and 8 percent said never. Women were more likely than men to think football is inappropriate for children under 14 – 56 percent of women compared to 46 percent of men. Men are divided on the issue of youth football, with 48 percent saying it’s okay for kids 10 to 13, and 46 percent saying it’s unsafe for this age group.
Among those polled who think football causes brain injuries, 44 percent said it’s okay for children 13 or younger to play football. Among those who do not agree that football causes brain injuries, 54 percent said it is okay for children age 13 and younger to play.
Despite concerns about player safety, football is still America’s most popular sport among all demographic groups studied, according to the survey, which was conducted in partnership with The Washington Post.