High school football will become an endangered species in America's fifth largest city if a perturbed school board member has her way.
Patty Sexton, a school board member from Philadelphia's countryside, has decided that football isn't an acceptable sport for teenagers. Sexton, clearly reacting to the increased publicity concussions have received of late, decided the sport should be outlawed for safety and liability issues.
“It’s no longer appropriate for public institutions to fund gladiators,” she said, according to the Courier Times. “I am very, very concerned about putting these student-athletes in the position of getting a concussion. Football has gotten faster, harder and more dangerous with each passing year. I’m extremely scared we will eventually be sued over injuries suffered in sports.”
In addition to football, Sexton spoke at a recent Council Rock board meeting against other contact sports such as soccer, however her bullseye was without a doubt on America's favorite sport, tackle football.
“We wouldn’t dream of putting our kids in a vehicle without a seat belt, but we put them out on the field and cheer for them,” Sexton said. “Our mission is to grow brains, not destroy them.”
Later, when reached by a reporter Chris English of the Courier Times, Sexton admitted she had as much of a chance of eliminating football as keeping the sun from coming up tomorrow, yet she felt the need to stand up for the children.
More than 62,000 concussions are sustained each year in high school contact sports, according to the Brain Trauma Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.