Readers React: Since we’re talking about the NFL, why not protect the brains of high school football players?

A high-school football game in Williamsburg, Va., in December 2017.
A high-school football game in Williamsburg, Va., in December 2017.
(Ryan M. Kelly / Associated Press)

To the editor: Sadly, your Feb. 2 editorial “Banning tackle football for kids? There’s nothing ‘nanny state’ about it if the science is sound” was right on the mark. It raises many questions about youth football and its possible consequences.

You mentioned “NFL injury reports” regarding concussions. Has the Los Angeles Times ever published or even seen a local “high school injury report” that mentions head trauma? Maybe it’s past time for you to print one next to the Top-25 high school football rankings.

With youth football now commonly televised and some high school players exposed to up to 15 games per season, is this getting out of hand? Does more scheduled playing time equate to more risk? Have local regulating institutions like the California Interscholastic Federation been successful in their efforts to curtail perhaps lifelong injuries?


As much as I and many others have enjoyed high school football in the past, if these and many other health-related questions aren’t answered and made available for increased public awareness, maybe it’ll be time for “Friday Night Lights Out.”

Marty Veselich, Playa del Rey


To the editor: As an ex-soccer coach, I believe the heading of a soccer ball should be added to any list of repetitive actions that can cause brain injury. The first time I headed a ball, I knew something was going on inside my head. A couple of seconds of dizziness occurred.

As for football, the sports media missed a major opportunity earlier this season when it failed to make the head-down tackle by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ryan Shazier, who suffered a severe spinal injury as a result, a teachable moment. With his body flying in a straight line, he looked like a human missile as he made his ill-fated head-first tackle, yet the commentators at the time did not suggest that what Shazier did deserved to be flagged.

This just shows that there is still a disconnect between so-called football experts and the safety of players. They just don’t get it.

Jeffrey Whitfield, Santa Ana


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