Survey: Dads with concussion past want sons to play tackle

Despite increasing awareness about concussion dangers for young athletes, a new national survey reveals 90% of men who played tackle football at the high school level or higher who suffered or suspected they suffered a concussion want their sons to play tackle football.  Not only that, nearly half (43 percent) believe there is too much hype over concussions.

Of all football-playing dads polled, 77 percent say tackle football is safe for children under age 12 even though more than 3 in 5 of these dads suffered a concussion themselves during their playing days.  And even more surprising, dads say most moms (61 percent) agree with them that tackle football is safe for young athletes. 

The survey of 300 dads who played tackle football at the high school level or higher, was commissioned by the non-profit arm of i9 Sports, the nation’s first and fastest growing youth sports franchise.

  • Fifty-three percent of football dads  say kids who play tackle sometimes think getting a concussion “is cool”, or ” a status symbol” that means you are “tough and play hard.”
  • More than 1 in 3 football dads (36 percent) say their son’s competitive youth sports coach (any sport) is more interested in a win over safe play.
  • Almost 1 in 5 football dads (19 percent) say despite concussion awareness, there have been no noticeable changes to the policies and procedures of youth sports.

“The startling results of this survey show even though concussion awareness is permeating youth sports today, often parents, young players and even coaches don’t heed the warnings,” says Brian Sanders, COO and president of i9 Sports, which has more than 550,000 members at 275 locations across the country. “It’s scary to us that dads who suffered concussions encourage their young sons to play tackle football at a young age. Studies show a concussion can be more dangerous for young athletes because their brains are still developing. Still these young athletes perceive concussions as a ‘cool status symbol.’  Concussion safety is a top priority at i9 Sports which is why we recommend flag football until high school.”

In other survey findings:

  • More than three in five football dads (61 percent) say they and their son’s mom AGREE that tackle football IS safe and the right choice for their son.
  • More than 1/3 of football dads (36 percent) say youth athletes don’t understand concussion dangers and don’t take precautions.
  • Almost 1/3 of football dads (31 percent) say coaches understand concussion dangers but don’t take precautions.

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