Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Put American football on pause

Published:Wednesday | April 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM


I read Ronald Mason's column 'Cruel realities of American football' (Sunday Gleaner, April 2) with much interest.

Unlike Mr Mason, I am not a fan of the game, except to the extent that I have got caught up in the spectacle of the Super Bowl game based on the fact that I always love a good party. I have also, over time, through different sources, come to understand and appreciate the devastation that this sport has caused to a number of the players over the years.

As I understand it, the proposal is to introduce a version of 'football lite' here, but I am not convinced that that will adequately address the well-documented negative health outcomes as a consequence of playing the game.

There are many in the USA trying to discourage the game, especially for younger players, because of the history, so why are we in Jamaica attempting to introduce it here? What gap is there in the mosaic of our sports offering that is being filled by this proposal?

The bottom line is that we should examine very carefully the proposal to ensure that we are not opening up our children to a sport that has severe health risks, some of which are not even properly understood. Based on the evidence currently available, I would suggest that we put off the introduction of this sport for the foreseeable future.