ESSENCE Poll: Are You Still Comfortable Letting Your Teenager Play Contact Sports in High School?
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Football has always been a hard-hitting sport—that’s sort of the point. Players tactically plan to hit other players as hard as they can in order to stop them from scoring.

In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, Dr. Bennet Omalu, the subject of Will Smith’s new film Concussion, says that high-impact sports shouldn’t be played by children under the age of 18. He argues that the brain isn’t fully developed until children are between the ages of 18 and 25.

Dr. Omalu’s statement comes on the heels of a year that saw at least 13 high school football deaths in America. Including the story of Tyrell Cameron, a 16-year-old football player at a Louisiana high school that died September 4 after being involved in a collision that broke his neck, caused internal bleeding and ultimately led to his death.

So with all of the reports and recent studies done, we want to know: Are you still comfortable letting your teenager play contact sports in high school? Do you let them play because the proper precautions have been in place, by the coaches and the school, to keep them safe? Do you let them play because they have the potential to go on to college ball—and maybe even more? Or do you refuse to let them play because the evidence makes contact sports seem too dangerous? Take our poll and let us know. 

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