Education Week: Football is the New Smoking

Author Douglas W. Green made the case in Education Week Tuesday that “football is the new smoking.”

Green argues that society, all the way back to ancient Rome, loves violence. But he also makes the case that there may be an end in sight:

“Watching people you don’t know beat the crap out of each other might be fun for some, but how about when it’s your own flesh and blood? While violent movies and computer games are very popular, most of our population limits violence view to the virtual variety.”5011227045_4df2341d87

But even when football is gone, there will be other sports, where the byproduct is concussions. He notes cheerleading as an example:

“Perhaps the biggest risk for girls is cheerleading. When I was in high school, the cheerleaders barely got off the floor, and no one I know remembers a cheerleader injury from my era. Today, some cheerleading teams don’t even cheer as they are focused to prepare for cheerleading competitions. If you haven’t seen one of these affairs, you should give it a try. They feature girls standing on each other, throwing each other about, manic tumbling, and all sorts of opportunities for serious injuries. I have yet to attend a competition that didn’t feature at least one girl, usually more, being taken out in a wheel chair or on a stretcher.”

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