Recent Poll: Half of Americans Don’t Want Their Son to Play Football

Despite football’s popularity as a spectator sport, according to a recent Bloomberg Poll, half of American’s don’t want their son’s playing the game.  Those statistics are even gloomier among the educated; sixty-two percent of college-educated survey respondents said they wouldn’t want their son to play.

Many suggest this decline is attributable to the attention on the negative health impacts of the sport.  Concussions have been a large stumbling block for the NFL.  A vast number of former players have alleged they suffer long-term effects as a result of head injuries during their career.  These allegations culminated in a $765 million dollar settlement offer which has been accepted by 99% of the affected players.

With all the negative media on concussion related ailments, many people are looking for alternative sports for their children.  Vince Vlasuk a 38 year old consultant in Strongsville, Ohio is pushing his young boys to play soccer. He said,

“I just think [football] has become too dangerous.” “I don’t think they have the equipment they need to protect themselves, particularly at the junior high and high school level.”

With the ongoing discussion about concussions, the recent deaths of young players, and current attention to professional player’s violent crimes, the future of football’s popularity is anything but certain.  In fact, Annie Linskey of Bloomberg suggests football’s future could be similar to the decline of boxing.  Once a dominant American sport, boxing’s popularity saw a significant decline following waves of negative press.

Obviously, conclusions based on survey results are only speculation.  The sport’s immense popularity could remain steady or even grow.  In actuality, younger respondents were more likely to want their son to play football and more likely to believe the sport’s popularity will grow.  Moreover, 43 percent of respondents stated they would want their son playing.  With such a close disparity, it is fully possible that football will have a long successful future.

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