Violence on high school football fields is shaping up to be one of the stories this season. Earlier this month, two HS safeties made headlines for targeting and striking an unsuspecting referee during a game in Texas.
The latest story comes from New Jersey, where one football player tore the helmet off his opponent. Then, while that un-helmeted player was on the ground, the one holding the helmet swung it at the other person's head and made contact.
The attacking player was flagged on the play, but conversation immediately turned to whether a more serious punishment is required, per Barstool Sports.
The two Texas players might face criminal charges for striking a referee. In the case of the helmet-wielding New Jersey player, something more serious than a tossed yellow flag seems appropriate for such a malicious act of violence.
A suspension would be a good start, but these players going to such violent extremes should be reminded of the gravity of their actions. Outside of a football field, striking someone in the head with a blunt object can get someone arrested.
Even though football is inherently violent, it should be controlled and tightly regulated. Tearing a helmet off a player is a serious violation on its own. Choosing to then target an unprotected player is inexcusable.
And as these stories become more common, high schools across America are facing a growing urgency to curb the violence before a real tragedy strikes.