Families & the Community

Poll: 50 Percent of Americans Don’t Want Their Kids Playing Football

By Bryan Toporek — December 10, 2014 1 min read
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Another week, another damning poll suggesting American parents don’t want their sons playing competitive football.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg Politics published the findings of a Dec. 3-5 poll, which questioned 1,001 U.S. adults on a bevy of subjects, including their feelings toward youth football. The results weren’t very favorable, as 50 percent of adults said that if they had a young son, they would not want him to play competitive football.

Bloomberg Politics’ Twitter account provided a look at the football-related findings:

The poll also asked respondents where they expected football’s popularity to be 20 years from now. A majority (56 percent) said “about the same,” 22 percent said “less popular,” 17 percent said “even more popular,” and the remaining 5 percent expressed uncertainty.

Bloomberg’s Annie Linskey dived deeper into the demographic breakdown of those more bearish on the future of football:

Almost a third of those who make $100,000 or more a year say football will lose followers over the next two decades. More than a quarter of college-educated respondents agree. The same wealthy and college-educated folks are the most likely groups to want to keep their children off the gridiron. Sixty-two percent of college-educated respondents said they don't want their children playing the sport and 62 percent of those making $100,000 or more a year agree.

Bloomberg’s poll isn’t the first to find waning interest in youth football among adults due to health-related concerns. An Associated Press-GfK poll from earlier this year found 44 percent of parents to be uncomfortable with the idea of their children playing football, although just 5 percent of parents had actually discouraged their children from playing within the past two years. A HBO Real Sports/Marist poll from last fall found roughly one in three Americans to be less likely to allow their children to play football due to what they know about football-related head injuries and long-term brain damage.

Buzz Bissinger, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Friday Night Lights,” also penned a column for

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.