High School Football Deaths (plural)

People get funny (as in peculiar) when the subject of football injuries comes up. Lately talk has been of Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. If it is the NFL the thinking is “They knew what they were getting into when they signed up.” That is, NFL football is a dangerous profession, but the players are compensated. That is the view of many people; it isn’t my view.

And isn’t it a funny thing that OSHA doesn’t apply that standard to other dangerous but lucrative jobs. Like mining or oil-rig work. I thought the laws state that the workplace has to be safe, even if we are paying you a lot of money.

But this post isn’t about the NFL. It is about high school football, and its relative safety.

The first story is the one about the New Jersey quarterback. Who was hit, fell down several minutes later, was taken to the hospital and died a short time later at the hospital. NJ high school star quarterback dies after suffering injury during game | Fox News

Evan Murray, 17, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior, played for Warren Hills Regional High School. During a game Friday night at home against Summit he was hit by an opposing player late in the second quarter, the Daily News reported.

He was taken from the field after a Summit interception and subsequent return, Tapinto.net reported Saturday. He was carted off the field in an ambulance, the website said.

Even one of the commenters on the Fox piece trotted out the “he knew what he was getting into” line. Really, at 17, he was able to make informed consent? Then how come at 17 we don’t allow kids to sign contracts, or vote? (in most places anyway.)

The second story I didn’t see so much coverage of, but that could just be me. This one is about an Oklahoma student athlete. Oklahoma high school football player dies after suffering game injury | FOX6Now.com

According to KFOR, Ben Hamm, a junior at Wesleyan Christian High School, scored a touchdown for his team but took a hard hit during the next play.

After being rushed to an area hospital, Hamm underwent surgery.

Wesleyan Christian School Head Coach Nathan England, says doctors were keeping Hamm in a medically induced coma to lower pressure in his head.

On Saturday, September 19th Hamm was pronounced dead.

The third story is the one that is most heartbreaking. High School Football Player Paralyzed | CW33 NewsFix

It was reportedly a helmet-to-helmet hit that broke Jasiel Favors neck and left him paralyzed from the waist down. The school released a tweet in support of Jasiel and his family.

This injury will cause pain for a long time.

I’m not saying that football needs to be outlawed. But it is pretty clear that there is something that needs to be changed. Or we need to give up the idea that we are more civilized than the Romans were with their gladiatorial games. You can say that football isn’t as bloody, and you would be right, but it is still entertainment built on the injury of others.