Broadcaster says football could collapse if NFL doesn’t address brain injuries

Photo credit: Liz Wolford of Action Photos Plus via the Woodford Youth Football League

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A longtime sports broadcaster is taking a firm stance about the safety of football.

In recent years, issues of head injuries and the disease known as CTE has been a huge talker. Now, Bob Costas says the future of football could be in jeopardy if new technology isn’t invented to keep players safe.

“Some of the best people I’ve met in sports have been football people, but the reality is this game destroys people’s brains,” Costas said.

Costas made the remarks during a roundtable discussion at the University of Maryland during the annual Shirley Povich Symposium.

“I certainly would not let, if I had an athletically gifted 12 or 13-year-old son, I would not let him play football,” Costas said.

We talked to former NFL player and Colts coach Rick Venturi about this strong statement.

“I think that’s hyperbole. I don’t think that football will die. I think football is evolving and changing. I think the NFL is finally coming to grips and I think we must come to grips because we set the tone for the entire industry,” he said.

Venturi says the league didn’t put the issue of concussions in the forefront right away but changes have been made with restricting the amount of contact and enforcing penalties.

Community Health Network Sports Medicine Physician William Jones says change is happening.

“With our awareness of concussions and with our protocol we’re certainly treating them earlier and we’re being very cautious and I think overall the athletes are staying safer but there’s always inherent risk,” Dr. Jones said.

But parents should still beware.

“If you are considering having your child play any sort of contact sport you should really do it with eyes open and consider the risks versus the benefits of doing that,” Jones said.

Costas went on to say as more research comes out about the severity of head injuries related to football, more parents could keep their children from playing the game all together.

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