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No Game for Boys to PlayThe History of Youth Football and the Origins of a Public Health Crisis$
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Kathleen Bachynski

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653709

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653709.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

This Is Your Brain on Football

This Is Your Brain on Football

The Framing of a Concussion Crisis

(p.181) Chapter Nine This Is Your Brain on Football
No Game for Boys to Play

Kathleen Bachynski

University of North Carolina Press

A decline in severe football injuries and fatalities after the 1970s helped make it possible for another concern to come into focus: that trauma to players’ brains, even if it did not result in death or catastrophic injury, might still constitute a serious medical problem. In the early 1990s, the National Football League (NFL) found itself under scrutiny after a spate of high-profile head injuries among its prominent athletes. In response, the league formed a committee on mild traumatic brain injury that not only minimized the severity of concussions among NFL players, but also influenced perceptions of risk at the youth football level. Yet in the late 2000s, several factors contributed to making football-related brain injuries at all levels of the sport a topic of national debate. These included autopsy findings in deceased NFL players, retired athletes speaking out about their medical problems, extensive media coverage, and an emerging framing of football-related brain damage as a public health concern that had been covered up by the NFL.

Keywords:   Football, Injury, Fatality, Brain injury, Debate, Concussion, National Football League, Public health, Risk, Youth

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