Poll: Four in five Americans oppose tackle football before age 14

Steven Marks
Steven Marks of Southern California Falcons avoids tacklers from the WAtts Bears on Sept. 14, 2013.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A poll released Wednesday found that about four in five American adults don’t believe children should play tackle football before age 14.

Ninety-one percent of respondents to the poll conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion didn’t support tackle football before age 10. However, 52% percent think tackle football is a safe activity for high schoolers.

The survey of 1,000 adults -- adjusted to be a representative sample of gender, race, political ideology and other factors -- asked about attitudes regarding sports safety for children, concussions and how professional sports leagues have responded to brain injuries.


Of those respondents who watched sports frequently, 52% said the NFL hasn’t done enough to combat concussions while 38% said the league’s steps are appropriate. A similar gap emerged when respondents were asked about the NCAA: 48% didn’t think the organization had done enough in regard to concussions while 27% supported its changes.

Sixty-five percent of respondents identified sports-related concussions as a “major problem.”

An even larger group -- 85% -- agreed that it is settled science that playing football can lead to the neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE.


Twitter: @nathanfenno

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