More parents steering kids away from football

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Millions of American families will be glued to their TVs this weekend, watching the game they love.

“I think the game is beautiful. It’s played perfectly. There’s no problems with it whatsoever. I encourage it. I just don’t what my kids playing it, that’s all,” said Max Cohen from Longmeadow.

And he’s not alone. Forty percent of American adults would prefer their kids choose another sport over football, because of the risk of concussions. Right now thousands of former NFL players, suffering from mental health issues, dementia, and other conditions are involved in an ongoing multi-million dollar lawsuit, claiming the league didn’t do enough to protect them.

There were 228 concussions in NFL games this past season. It’s 13% less than the year before. Still the NFL Players Association director wonders if a decrease over a year or two period proves the culture of the game is changing.

“I think society is more aggressive and it plays out on our sports fields. It’s gone beyond being a game and it just venting aggression and everyone being excited about that. I don;t think that’s going to change, I think it’s going to get worse,” said Michael Boucher from East Longmeadow.

This season the NFL banned hits with the crown of the helmet, and also created a policy requiring neurological experts to be on the sidelines during games. As for the NFL lawsuit, a federal judge rejected a 765-million dollar deal this month because she didn’t think it was enough to pay the potential 20-thousand current and former players who could come forward.

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