Free Debate Friday: Should we let our kids play contact sports?

Hello and welcome to Free Debate Friday! Last May, Junior Seau, NFL linebacker, committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. His death left many unanswered questions, and through the donation of his brain, neuroscientists were able to diagnose Seau with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE, known also as “punch drunk” is a degenerative brain disease often caused by injuries to the head. Sadly, according to scientists, CTE can only be truly diagnosed after one’s death, so prevention to head injuries may be the way we try to prevent CTE.


With so many children and youth playing contact sports like football, hockey and boxing, does this recent discovery of Junior Seau’s diagnosis make us think twice about letting kids play contact sports? Today’s Free Debate Friday asks you: Should we let our kids play contact sports?

Vote and comment below. If you have kids in contact sports, is this news making you reconsider allowing them to play? Should we have laws regulating youth in contact sports? Sound off!


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7 Responses to “Free Debate Friday: Should we let our kids play contact sports?”

  1. gloc

    As a mom, I worry about letting my kids play football. I’ve had one concussion as an adult, and I can feel the impact it had on me. I can’t imagine letting them play a sport that consistently risks their getting a concussion while their brain is still developing. Sure, my kids probably won’t be professional athletes, but how many concussions or head injuries does it take to have it impact you?

    • echavez

      i have had two concussion, first from my bike flip on to concrete and another from baseball in high school. Yet i still play hockey and all it would take is a head to board collision and it would be my third easily.

      • gloc

        Yeah, but you’re not an 8 year old boy. Your brain will be impacted, but I’m wondering what it does to you as a kid, while you’re brain is developing.

  2. echavez

    Yes, sports are dangerous and we know that. I would be worried seeing my son play either Football or Hockey. But mostly Football because of all the blindside hits. I don’t want my kids to live in a bubble.

  3. alex

    There is just too much money invested in these sports for the problem to go away. Football is the biggest money maker in USA because the mob loves it. People love to watch UFC fights and Boxing but the athletes are the ones who suffer the repercussions; like Muhammad Ali and Junior Seau. I know there are rules in Football that protect players from some nasty hits but the sport is still about tackling and hitting each other.

    I love violence in my movies/books/games as much as the next person but I can’t stomach real violence like UFC. Or even boxing. I felt bad for Pacquiao when I saw that hit he took from Marquez. I mean, he was hit so hard he didn’t even put his hands out to break his fall. I don’t see how people can cheer for that kind of shit.

  4. wtg22

    I don’t know that I could prevent my child from playing in contact sports if it’s some he or she really wanted. However, if they did want to get involved, I would first educate them about the dangers, and then I’d probably get really active in pursuing safety rules in the junior leagues. I know that sounds obnoxious, but if I felt my young child was in danger of serious head trauma, you bet your ass I’d be that annoying mom talking to all the coaches about making the penalties more harsh for vicious or dangerous hits.

  5. Melvin the Walking Concussion

    I’ve played Pop Warner and high school football, college and house league roller hockey, I’ve gotten into my fair share of fights, taken bad spills on jumps using my dirt bike and snowboard, and I’ve even been thrashed by waves at the beach (check out the Wedge in Newport Beach)… I consider myself to be very smart and successful… I’m still alive and doing alright… kinda… *twitch, twitch* :-)

    I’ve had several concussions in my lifetime… The last one caused severe brain trauma and nearly cost me total motor movement on my right side. Believe me, it was the scurriest moment of my life… I thought I would never walk again and shit got very real… But with strong determination and several months in physical therapy, I was able to regain my motor skills again (granted that I was under the watch and care of one of Monterey’s finest Neurologists).

    I was very lucky to have been able to walk away from such a severe accident, but it never stopped me from playing hockey or football or the other crazy shit I do… I just became more aware of my surroundings, which made me more of a cautious player. I don’t go looking for hard hits when I’m playing hockey, but I’ll occasionally throw my body around. But while I’m out on that floor, I have my head on a constant swivel, always looking for potential danger.

    My parents, and some of my friends, begged me to stop doing anything that may potentially cause more brain trauma, but I can’t live my life in fear. I will do what I can to reduce the risk of brain trauma, like getting expensive helmets for whatever sport I may be doing. I’m not a parent, but I can see where there is extreme concern for your child’s well being. Yes, you want to always protect your children, but you can’t prevent accidents from happening. My two cents on the issue is that accidents do happen, and that’s just a part of life. Even if your child(ren) do not play contact sports, there is always going to be a lingering danger in anything they do…


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